Broccoli Soup

broccoli soup

This turned out delicious! Light but creamy and flavorful. I served this with just garlic bread but you could also serve as a first course for a more elaborate meal.

Broccoli Soup
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
4 Green Onions
1/4 cup chopped Parsley
1 tablespoon prepared Lemongrass paste ( I like this brand)
4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
4 small or 2 large heads Fresh Broccoli
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Creme Fraiche

Heat a large stock pot over medium and add the olive oil. Chop the green onion and add to the pot. Cook until soft but not browned.
Add the parsley, lemongrass paste, stock and salt and pepper (to taste). Chop the broccoli into small chunks so they fit into the pot easier. Bring everything to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.

Very carefully ladle the broccoli and broth into a blender.
You need to work in batches. Hot liquids expand in the blender so you only want to fill the blender half full at a time.
Blend until well pureed.
Return the soup to the pot and reduce for 10 or so minutes on medium high heat.
Add the cream and creme fraiche and stir to combine.
To serve dollop a spoon on creme fraiche and snip over fresh herbs.

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Savory Bread Pudding

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I served it with “The Best Pork Loin Ever!” but it would be very nice with roast chicken or grilled flat-iron steak.

Savory Bread Pudding
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

15 slices or about 8 cups Texas Toast
1 12oz. package Frozen Chopped Broccoli (thawed)
1 1/2 cups Whole Milk
6 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 rashers of Bacon
Salt & Pepper
1 teaspoon Chili Flakes

Cut the bread into roughly 2 inch chunks leaving the crust on and place in a very large mixing bowl. Add the thawed broccoli.
In a separate bowl mix together the milk, eggs, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper and chili flakes.
Pour over the bread and mix until the bread is well coated with the egg mixture.
Pour into a large buttered baking dish and top with the bacon.
Bake for 40-50 minutes. Cover with foil if the top browns too quickly.

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Dinner Tonight: Sesame-Lime Broccoli

Once when I was shopping with my son Gavin, I asked him what vegetable he’d like to have for dinner that night.
“Broccoli!” he cheered.
The stares I received from the other shoppers ran from amazed to annoyed. And, I must admit to a tiny amount of smug. The kid loves his veggies! His favorite is this recipe.

For the dressing:

4 tablespoons of lime juice (go ahead and use the lime in the plastic bottle, it’s no problem!)

3 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

A pinch of salt and pepper.

Whisk the ingredients together or shake in a small jar and store in the fridge for later.

For the Broccoli:

You’ll need 4 large bunches of broccoli.

Cut the florets off the stems and place into a large pot. Cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often.

While you are waiting for your broccoli to boil prepare a large bowl of very cold iced water.

Once the water comes to a boil shut off the heat and let the broccoli sit for about 3-5 minutes or until the broccoli are tender crisp. You don’t want them to be soft at all. Just a little cooked and bright green.

Scoop the broccoli out of the pot and put them into the ice bath. This stops the cooking and set that bright green color.

Top off the cold water with more ice. You can store them in the fridge or just on the counter top this way for a couple of hours.

To prepare the dish:

Drain the broccoli and pat them dry.

In a large saute’ pan heat over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Saute’ the broccoli until warmed thorough.

Remove the broccoli to a serving dish and toss with the sesame-lime dressing.

I hope your family loves this as much as mine does!