Monday, April 04, 2011
Here's a spring green vegetable soup for you--creamy, full-flavored and perfect for an April evening. It's fast to put together, and you won't believe how many vegetables I managed to fit in here. Check it out: broccoli, spinach, carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic! First, I just want to note--the amounts are very flexible! If you have a little less broccoli or a little more spinach or one fewer carrot, do not worry about it. It all gets blended up together and will taste great no matter what. Start by prepping all your vegetables. Chop 3 small heads of broccoli, including the stems (peel them first)...And roughly chop 1 small onion (or, because I actually had really big onions, use 1/2 of a large onion). Depending on how much you love it--smash and peel 3 to 6 cloves of garlic. Peel and chop 2 medium carrots into small chunks. And about 2 cups total of peeled, chopped Yukon Gold potatoes. Combine 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.And add in all those gorgeous vegetables. Saute together in the butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add in 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. The baking soda addition is taken from Cook's Illustrated--apparently it works to break down the broccoli and brings up the vegetal flavor. Bring it all to a simmer, cover and cook for 25 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Since we have a few minutes to spare, you can make some croutons for the soup! At least that's what I did anyway. I had a bunch of ends of bread in the freezer and I had let them get a bit stale. Cut them into cubes... And toss them in a big bowl with olive oil (at least 2-3 tablespoons) and salt and pepper.Add some fresh parmesan cheese... And spread out on a baking sheet. Let them bake at 300 until crispy, stirring them around occasionally. It will probably take about 10-15 minutes but keep an eye on them because they can burn easily.After 25-30 minutes of cooking, all your veggies should be quite soft. Add 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a completely vegetarian version) and bring it up to a simmer again. Remember your big pile of spinach?Chop it up--should be more or less 2 cups worth. Add to the pot and let it wilt for about a minute or so into the hot soup. And now get your beloved immersion blender (seriously, from a totally non-gadgety person,this is the best gadget ever)and puree it all up together!This is optional but I added in 1/2 cup shredded cheese--this time it was a combination of jack and gouda.Puree again after adding in the cheese...And it really looks pretty, doesn't it? Taste and add salt and pepper, then serve with a handful of the croutons and a spoonful of Greek yogurt.