My tribute to National Soup Month continues with a rich soup that is great before a meal or as the meal. I usually triple the recipe because this soup freezes beautifully.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
1½ pounds broccoli
4 tbsp. butter
½ cup onions, chopped
¼ cup red pepper, chopped
4 tbsp. flour
6 cups chicken stock
¼ cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. ground thyme
8 black peppercorns or fresh ground to taste
2 pinches of nutmeg
3 eggs yolks
1 cup heavy cream
Sharp cheddar cheese, grated* optional
Cut off broccoli florets and set aside. Chop stems and branches a bit.
Melt butter in a 3-4 quart saucepan. Add all the broccoli pieces, onions, and red peppers. Sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Do not let the onions brown or the soup will be bitter.
Sprinkle the flour across the vegetables, and then stir to coat them as evenly as possible.
Add all the remaining ingredients, except the last three. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and lower the heat to a hearty simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally.
Add the nutmeg off heat. Strain the soup from the pulp. To do this pour the soup into a large bowl. Wipe out the post with a paper towel. Set a colander over the pot, then carefully pour in the soup mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to extract the liquid. Discard the pulp and return the pot to medium-low heat.
Whisk the egg yolks into the cream. Stir in 5 tablespoons of hot soup at a time until you’ve added ¾ cup. Reverse the process and slowly whisk the now-warm mixture into the soup. **
Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat. Taste and season with pepper if necessary.
Serve from a tureen or in individual bowls.
This recipe makes 8 bowls.
*My oldest granddaughter likes to sprinkle a fair amount onto her soup. I prefer it heated in the soup as it melts better.
**This may seem like extra work, but if you don’t do it the yolks and cream will curdle.
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