I feel like every week should have a soup night. When Ryan and I were finishing up our undergraduate degrees, and during a great deal of law school, I felt like we were rocking that weekly soup night with a can opener and a couple cans of whatever soup was on sale that week at the grocery store. That worked for us just fine then, and I will always look back on those days with fondness (even though they were hard). I still love to have soup night, but I get to have a little more flexibility in the grocery budget to skip the can (even though these days I sometimes feel like it would be easier to just heat a bowl of canned soup and call it good). Either way, soup night always finds us - and I love it!
This soup is pretty inexpensive as well, if you have most of the ingredients on hand (chives, leeks, and broccoli might not be everyone's regular lineup). We've come around to liking broccoli quite a bit - but really had only had it in a soup paired with cheese. So this soup was a breath of cheese-less fresh air. The leeks provide such a soft onion flavor that folded in beautifully with the creaminess of the one potato and broccoli. Speaking of broccoli, this recipe calls for something a little different during prep: you cook the broccoli stems separate from the florets - getting even more depth of flavor than the usual. It's fantastic! Also, there isn't a lot of cream in this soup (none if you omit the half-and-half altogether), and you can easily substitute the chicken broth for veggie broth. You just went vegetarian on soup night - unless you serve it alongside a pulled pork sandwich or loaded grilled chicken/cheese. In that case, you're awesome.
- - -Broccoli Leek Soup
makes 4 servings
1 large bunch of broccoli
1 T EVOO
1 T unsalted butter
2 medium leeks, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
1 medium baking potato, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 C chicken broth
3/4 t kosher salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
1/2 C half-and-half (optional)
1/4 C snipped chives
1. Separate broccoli stems from florets by using a veggie peeler to remove the tough outer layer, and then slice into 1/4 inch coins. Break the florets into small pieces. Keep florets and stems separate.
2. In a soup pot, heat oil and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Add broccoli stems, potato, and garlic, and cook another 3 minutes. Add 3 C water, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover partially and simmer until broccoli and potato are tender - about 10-12 minutes.
3. Add florets, bring to a boil, then simmer about 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Add half and half and chives. Stir. Serve that sucker.
recipe adapted from: Oprah Magazine Cookbook