Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 174 - Broccoli Cream Soup

Marcy was feeling better and came for lunch today. Since Labor Day is behind us, I thought it was appropriate to start revisiting the soups....

Broccoli Cream Soup (p. 62)

This soup seemed like it would be a quickie. There are so few ingredients, and if you don't read the recipe too carefully, it looks pretty easy. Then, you start making it, and your guest arrives, and you keep her waiting for 45 minutes while you whisk and blend and strain. (Sorry, Marcy.)

It's not that it's a difficult soup to make, but it's one of those recipes that uses lots of utensils and pots, etc. and requires some clean up. Think about it: knives, cutting boards, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, a stirring spoon, a ladle, two pots (one for before you've strained it and one for after), a sieve (I ended up using two because the first one was too fine and nothing was passing through), a spatula for pressing solids through the sieve, a blender... I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

But all that is meaningless once you taste this soup. Yum!

Of course, I believe that part of the magic is in the homemade chicken stock, which provides such a great depth of flavor.

I've never made a "cream" soup with a velouté base. It's so amazingly creamy, and it's all done with butter and flour! And as if the base isn't creamy enough on its own, once you blend in the broccoli, it's positively thick and rich and amazing.

As Marcy commented, this soup had none of the icky broccoli flavor that often plagues cooked broccoli dishes. It was all vegetable goodness. And so comforting! I didn't add any of the "optional" cream, and it really didn't need it. In fact, I can only guess that added cream would have put it over the top in the richness department.

Since the homemade stock is salt-free, this soup doesn't really blossom until you salt it, which interestingly happens twice during this recipe. Once when you add the raw broccoli, and then again, at the end, after it's all been blended. I was conservative with the salt on the first pass, but the second time around I could taste that it was still undersalted, and I'm happy to say, I think I hit the salt nail right on its head.

Have you ever noticed: there's a small window of saltiness when a dish is salted just enough to bring out the intrinsic flavors. Too little, and the flavors don't come together or come across. Too much, and all you taste it salt. Today, I found that window.

It wasn't until we were eating the soup that I exclaimed, "This is Cream of Broccoli soup, but a million times better!" For some reason, because it was named Broccoli Cream Soup, I failed to make the connection between it and Cream of Broccoli Soup until that very moment. (Duh!) But this soup is in a whole other galaxy than anything Campbell's makes. It's heaven.

Jeff: A
Martha: A

Until we eat again...

Confession: This soup was so good that we finished the whole pot in one sitting. According to the book, it serves 4-6. :-0


  1. I made this soup and everyone in my family (even picky eater children) loved it. My son even asked me to make it again several weeks later. It truly is a great recipe.

  2. Agreed! Have you tried either of the variations she suggests in the intro to the recipe, i.e. cauliflower or asparagus? I'm curious....