Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In the Mood for Comfort Food

    Recently I have been in the mood for a thick, hearty soup. I figure with the weather warming up, their won't be much more opportunity to make these types of "Comfort Foods". Not that I'm complaining. (I can't wait to start using the bar-be-cue again on a regular basis).
    For a while now, every time we would have broccoli as a side dish, I would save and freeze the  stems in a freezer bag. I had intended on making Cream of Broccoli Soup as soon as I had enough. Well the bag was full, so the time had come.
    The thing with using broccoli stems is that you need to peel them. They have a tough outer skin that doesn't break down while cooking. But once peeled, they are delicious and can be used in coleslaw, soup, stir fry or just plain steamed. (I froze my stems because I knew I would be using them in a soup. If you plan to use them for other preparations, freezing may not be the best way to keep them. Once thawed, they no longer have the crisp bite to them that they normally have).

    Also, a while back for a weekend breakfast, we opened a pound of bacon and were unable to finish it all in time. I cooked up the remainder of the bacon, tossed it in the food processor and made my own bacon bits.
    Bacon Bits never go to waste in our house. We make Caesar Salad on a regular basis, and I usually toss them in there. But since I was making Cream of Broccoli Soup, I couldn't think of a better way to use them up.

Cream of Broccoli Soup with White Cheddar and Bacon:


2 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cups Recipe Homemade "Free" Chicken Stock
8 cups broccoli stems/florets (stems peeled and florets steamed)
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 cups of milk
ground pepper and salt to taste

2 slices of crisp bacon, crumbled (as garnish)
grated white cheddar, or which ever cheese you prefer (as garnish)


(1) Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter in a medium sized stock pot, and saute onion and celery until tender. Add broccoli stems and broth. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

(2) Pour the tender broccoli soup mixture into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway. Hold down the lid of the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour back into the pot. Alternately you can use an immersion blender straight into the pot. (It is very important to firmly hold down the lid of the blender. When adding a hot liquid, pressure builds up in the sealed pitcher causing the lid to slip off. It could be a potential

(3) In a small saucepan over medium heat melt 3 Tbsp. of butter, stir in flour. Mix to combine until smooth. Add milk and stir until thick and bubbly. This creates a roux. You will use this as the thickening agent.

(4) Add the thickened roux to the pureed soup mixture. Stir to combine. Gently fold in the steamed broccoli florets (for some texture) and season with salt and pepper.
(5) Garnish with bacon bits and cheese. Serve with a crostini.

*This recipe makes 8 servings.

No comments:

Post a Comment