Coveted Cream of Broccoli Soup

or covert ingredients creating liquid culinary delight

It's delicious, it's creamy, it's quick, it's easy.... it's not the healthiest soup on the stove (I did say it was delicious, remember?).  It definitely has vegetables and good things in it, but when it comes to fat content compared to broth based soups "cream of" soups are never as "healthy" in that aspect.  Ok, now that we have that out of the way - it's also worth it.  In moderation, it doesn't hurt to indulge, and somehow - when you think of something as an indulgence, that makes it taste that much better.  Maybe that's just me.  Unless you are lactose intolerant, then it definitely would hurt to indulge, sorry I couldn't part with my beloved dairy on this one.

My "covert ingredient" in this dish is the mascarpone cheese.  I like broccoli and cheese soup, but I hate the stringiness of cheddar, and my husband isn't terribly cheese-inclined in his broccoli soup to begin with so I thought I'd make a compromise.  The idea of adding low fat cream cheese crossed my mind, but I couldn't get the flavors to mesh in my head, so I pulled out the mascarpone cheese I had recently bought to play with (yes, I think of ingredients as toys, don't you?).  I'd never used it before that last shopping expedition and have since used some in sweet crepes and also as the creamy element in my new homemade macaroni and cheese recipe (to be shared here soon!  Trust me, that exclamation point is appropriate, mmmmm).  I had about 4 oz left, and since I really had no concrete preconceived notion as to the flavor impact I thought I'd give it a try.  Low and behold - success!  Just enough cheese flavor to satisfy my craving, no stringiness in the soup, and not too overpowering for my husband's tastes - I couldn't ask for more.  So here we have it, the soup that I am already craving for lunch and the sun is barely up, my Coveted Cream of Broccoli Soup:

4 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
nutmeg, a dash
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 cups broccoli, chopped
1+ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic

Hardware: stockpot and immersion blender (or regular blender)

1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in the bottom of the pan.  Lightly saute the minced onion and minced garlic until starting to turn golden.  Add the chicken stock and stir well.

2. Add in the broccoli and water.  Heat to a low boil and cook for about 10 min.

3. Turn the heat off and use the immersion blender to puree most of the broccoli, leaving about ⅓ of the broccoli whole, then bring back up to a simmer.  
If using a regular blender, remove the broccoli to reserve and blend the soup in batches (don’t fill more then halfway, it is important to allow extra room in the blender for hot liquids since they will expand), then pour all back into the pot and bring to a simmer.

4. In a small pan, melt the remaining butter and stir in the flour until a paste-like consistency forms to create a golden roux.  Add a cup of the cooking liquid to the roux and bring to a boil, stirring to combine well.  Once the roux is fully dissolved, add the mixture back to the pot.

5. Add in all the remaining spices.  Keep at a simmer and add in the mascarpone cheese, stir until melted.  Once the soup has an even consistency, add in the heavy cream and bring back up to a low simmer to ensure that it is heated throughout.

This recipe made over 6 cups when I worked it out, but serving size makes a big difference in that respect. If you like to have soup leftovers for lunches, as I do, this is a great recipe for that purpose. Unless you have a bigger family, then you may need to double it. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I love your fresh ingredients and healthy food recipe!