Saturday, March 27, 2010
adapted from Mark Bittman via Serious Eats
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound broccoli, preferably twice as many stems as florets, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1/2 to 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or Romano and/or Asiago, whatever is on hand
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, broccoli, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for an additional minute, then add the stock. Simmer until the broccoli is very tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.
2. Purée the soup using a stick or regular blender, or let it cool somewhat and pass it through a food mill.
3. Stir in the cheese (or you can puree it in the soup in the step above), season to taste, and serve.
The original version was a "creamy" broccoli soup, with sour cream stirred in at the end. However, the first time I made it, I didn't have sour cream in the house. I figured "what the heck" and went for it anyway, thickening it at the end with the tiny remains of three shredded Italian cheeses I had on hand (about half a cup total). It worked beautifully. I ended up with a soup that was earthy yet somehow tangy, and it didn't even need additional salt. And I was even happier because I made the recipe my own.
I know most people love the heftier versions, but I think this recipe is perfect because when I crave broccoli soup what I am really craving is the broccoli itself. So in the end, I don't need cream, milk, sour cream or handfuls of cheese. I just want to taste the pure vegetable, with supporting flavors, and that's what this gives me.
One note - the white wine really makes a difference here. I made it once without it and it was definitely missing it.