Well not quite a crock, but at least it’s a nice pot of cream of broccoli soup. There are lots of recipes for different cream of vegetable soups, and they all seem pretty much the same to me. You basically cook the vegetables you want until they are done, puree it and re-heat it with some cream. This recipe, which I got from Mark Bittman, does a slight variation that seems to taste better to me. He uses a little more cream and adds either some white rice or a potato to the soup to help make it thicker and creamier. You can choose to leave the rice or potato out of the recipe if your like your soup with a thinner consistency; I personally prefer to have it thicker.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
4 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup white rice or 1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into quarters
4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock, or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cream or half-and-half
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Combine the broccoli, rice (or potato) and stock in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook until the broccoli is very tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then puree through a food mill, blender or food processor. (At this point, you may refrigerate the soup, covered, for up to 2 days; re-heat before proceeding).
Return the soup to the pot and re-heat over medium-low heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the cream. Heat through again, garnish, and serve.
Just a couple of notes about this soup. I am using homemade chicken broth, but any broth or even water will do nicely. For a soup like this, homemade broth doesn’t really make a huge difference since it’s not really the star of the meal, and if you’re going with a vegetarian meal, use vegetable stock or water. As far as pureeing soup, I think the blender probably works best of all your options. It reduces chunky ingredients into a smooth consistency very quickly. I often use the food processor myself for this, but be sure you only fill the food processor half-way to prevent the soup from leaking out of the bowl. Food processors don’t usually have a watertight seal like a blender, so be careful. Another option for this would be to use the immersion blender, which I also use often for soups. You can place it right in the pot, eliminating the mess created by using the blender or food processor. The only downside to this method is that the immersion blender doesn’t give you quite as smooth of a puree as a blender or food processor.
I’ll be serving a crunchy loaf of bread I got at Adams Farms this morning, and that’s all we have for this meal. Tomorrow’s meal is another one pot meal that I’ll be doing. It is Artichokes, Potatoes, Garlic, Olives and Shrimp. It’s something different, our seafood meal of the week, and cooks like a stew. It should be a good one. Check back tomorrow to see what it’s all about. Until then, enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!