I’ve heard a terrible rumour that summer is winding down. No way. Not yet.
My early mornings sipping coffee on the veranda over-looking the stunning Saint John river valley, while I open emails, edit photos, type to you – I love my lap-top! – wide open windows, hours in the gardens, playing on and in the river, berry picking, sleep-overs, picnicking, barbecuing, stepping outside my kitchen door to snip fresh herbs, using fresh blossoms from my flower beds to garnish soups…
Noooooooooo. I’m not ready. I have one more spectacular event happening this summer and they arrive Tuesday. Meaghan and Coen are coming home. And so, Mr. Summer, please hang around a little while longer so our grandson can play and discover his farm in some lovely east coast sunshine. He may be living in the west, but he’s got a lot of Maritimer in him! It’s all part of my master plan to have him love the farm! Remember Ralph’s pond/swimming hole? We have a great friend coming today to help Ralph build a deck around one side of it. Again, all part of the plan.
Coen is a great eater so I’ve been playing around with different vegetable purees to try on him while he’s here. My Cream of Broccoli Soup happened after I figured out how I would fix fresh broccoli for him. This recipe is a snap to make, especially if you own an immersion blender. Sadly, for me, mine is in the city. However, a food processor works just as well except there’s more mess to clean up! I garnished our soup with a dollop of creme fraiche and a borage blossom. If you want to go hard-core ‘no cream’ serve it plain. It’ll be every bit as tasty.
CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP without the cream
- 2 lbs broccoli, tough stem ends trimmed away
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped coarsely
- 2 shallots, chopped coarsely
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 7 cups chicken stock
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Chop the broccoli florets, peel the stems and slice. I keep ¼ of the florets to add at the end.
- Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium high heat.
- Add the onion, shallots and garlic.
- Cook until wilted, about 10 minutes.
- Add the stock and broccoli.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the broccoli is fork tender about 25 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat.
- Using either an immersion blender or a food processor, puree the vegetables. If you’re using a food processor, use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the stock. Once smooth, return the puree to the stock and stir well.
- Add the reserved broccoli florets to the ‘creamed’ soup and simmer for 5 additional minutes. The florets will be a little crunchy adding a nice texture balance to the creamy soup.
- Stir in salt and pepper.
- Serve hot, room temperature or cold.
THE LOVE: Make sure that you taste your chicken stock so that you know how much salt to add to your soup. Remember, you can always salt at the table but you can’t take it out!
Thanks for reading.