Broccoli Soup & Crostinis

Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 
With the New Year, I decided more veggies had to be incorporated into my meals. This also means hubs gets to eat more too.  I saw broccoli was on sale this past weekend, so I scooped up two pounds knowing that I could make a simple, yet tasty, broccoli soup.  It would be a light, Sunday evening meal after eating out over the weekend - perfect way to kick off the week.

I began with what would be the "hardest" part of this recipe - the veggie prep.   After chopping the onion, hubby sauteed it in olive oil while I finished the veggies.  I peeled and diced the potato and continued onto the broccoli.  One thing I notice that many people do with broccoli is disregard the stem.  For a soup though, you can really use all of this once you peel and prep it.  Thus, I thought I'd give you a basic four step procedure to using the stems.

1. Remove the broccoli heads
2. Trim off all the "branches" of the stem (makes it easier to peel)
3. Stand up the broccoli on an end, then cut away the outer layer with a knife, like you would with a pumpkin or melon skin.
4. Ta da!  You are done!  Chop and use!

Now that we have all of our broccoli chopped with the potato, I added all the veggies to the onion Tim had been cooking (muah, thanks hubs!)  We then added a few cups of vegetable broth (you can use chicken, beef, whatever you have) and then finished it off with water just until all the veggies were submerged.  I also added some red pepper flakes, pepper and garlic salt.

That's it.  Let it boil, then lower the heat so it simmers for about 20 minutes.  Grab the hand held submersion blender your mother gave you back in the day (or, you could also use a blender, just be cautious cause the liquid is hot.  Do it in batches and cover it with a towel to make sure there are no splatters) and go to work.  Whatever consistency you like, we preferred super smooth.

And the whole time the soup is simmering, hubs is being fantastic and making crostinis to compliment the meal.  Simply enough, toasted french bread was topped with a mix of artichokes, parsley, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Absolutely fantastic with the soup (would be a great appetizer too!), that evening and the next day.  And while your coworkers are looking at the soup in disgust due to the green appearance, you can sit back and enjoy the warm soup in your belly knowing it is not only tasty, but good for you too.

Make anything recently that was perfectly light and hit the spot?