In these dwindling December days filled with endless parties full of punch bowls laden with egg nog, bacon wrapped scallops on fancy trays, and entire tables devoted to artistic cheese displays, I thought you might appreciate something a bit lighter to ingest between Fêtes.
This one simple soup may be the thing we all need right now to get us zipped into another tiny black clingy dress – right? Or, maybe you shelve this one for now and revive it in the New Year to help un-do all the merry making. Either way this Charred Broccoli Soup is a winner, I am not even going to mention the fact that it is mostly vegetables and therefore: good for you, very filling, and low calorie too!
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 2 lbs broccoli - stems peeled and sliced, florets cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 approx. 5 oz package of baby spinach
- few slices of hearty bread cubed, I used Schär GF cibatta
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- chopped chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pot heat 3 Tbsp olive oil, add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened and just starting to brown 6-8 mins.
Add 2 cups water and the stock, potato, broccoli stems and two-thirds of the florets.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the temperature and simmer stirring occasionally until the potato and broccoli are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the spinach until wilted.
Meanwhile on one side of a large rimmed baking sheet toss the remaining broccoli florets with 1 Tbsp of oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl toss the bread with the last Tbsp of olive oil season with salt and pepper, you could add some dry herbs as well such as thyme or rosemary.
Spread the bread on the other half of the baking sheet and bake altogether for about 10 minutes.
Check to make sure the bread does not burn, the florets are a lot more forgiving.
Now working in batches puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Stir in the vinegar and taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.
Ladle into warmed soup bowls and garnish with crispy broccoli florets, croutons and chives.