Thursday, March 15, 2012

Potato-and-Broccoli Soup

In an average March in Wisconsin, it would definitely still be soup weather. And although this week of 70+ degree temperatures may have made it seem like it's going to be summer from here on out, sadly, this is unlikely to be the case. But if it has to return to seasonable temperatures at least I can happily indulge in cool weather dishes like this tasty soup. For whatever reason, I had a profound craving for broccoli potato soup before these unseasonable temperatures arrived, stumbling across this easy recipe with just a quick search of one of my favorite recipe sources, Food and Wine. Yet another example of a simple recipe with high-quality ingredients producing fantastic results, this simple vegetable soup is absolutely sublime. Fresh broccoli is the perfect partner to hearty potatoes, blended together in a swirl of Parmesan-induced umami in a bath of flavorful stock. Splurging a bit on broth (if you can't make your own) and Parmesan (I adore Hook's) will not only bring out the best qualities of this soup, but elevate every other dish you use them in, making it truly worth the investment. Farmers' market veggies are of course your best bet, but you certainly won't regret making this even with supermarket has to offer. Even if you're longing for the dog days of summer, seize the opporunity to enjoy a last few hearty bowls of soup in the first days of spring.
Potato-and-Broccoli Soup
from Food and Wine
serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 pounds broccoli, thick stems peeled and diced (about 2 cups), tops cut into small florets (about 1 quart)
1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes (about 5), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock (or vegetable broth)
3 cups water
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. In a large pot, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, broccoli stems, potatoes, broth, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

3. In a food processor or blender, pulse the soup to a coarse puree. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the broccoli florets and simmer until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir 1/4 cup of the grated Parmesan into the soup, and serve the soup topped with the remaining cheese.

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