Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creamy Potato & Broccoli Soup for 6 More Weeks of Winter

Good ole' Punxsutawney Phil woke up this morning, had a hot cup of coffee, read some of today's news online, and pumped out a few perfect push-ups before having a shower, a shave, and a mirror-power-pep-talk preparing for his most important day of the year-Groundhog's Day. Turns out Phil did indeed see his shadow today indicting this cold winter will last well into March, and if you live in the DC-VA area you are already being graced with the Ice Queen's touch in excess of 6 inches of snow predicted to fall over night. Pouring it on a little thick, aren't we Phil?

When the temperatures drop and frost is in the air, what is the one dish we all instinctively crave? If you said soup you are right! Hooray! Gold Star! Mario Kart! Wii! Sorry, I got a little excited and ahead of myself there. Back to soup. Soup is a miracle of mankind's survival techniques. Nearly every food can be transformed into soup; it's the remedy for breathing new life into leftover ingredients and can embody tremendous flavor in just one spoonful. In addition to the frigid winter weather, I also recently had the painful experience of having all four of my wisdom teeth extracted rendering my diet to soft foods only, i.e. soup and other soup-like foods like yogurt, grits (bleh, I can't believe I ate them but I did), and pudding. But not all soups are created equal when you are searching for optimal softness. Any soups with chunks or noodles are immediately disqualified because they require chewing. Too spicy and too rich soups like bisques are also out of the running due to their fierce strike on your mouth's open wounds. Miso soup is a superb soft soup as the tofu easily melts and the seaweed also dissolves quickly. But I wasn't about to pay sushi restaurant prices for a daily supply of miso and I sure as ish wasn't making it from scratch in my state, so I did the sensible thing, looked into my crisper to find all the ingredients I needed to cook a velvety smooth Creamy Potato & Broccoli Soup.

(I thought the ingredients looked pretty.)

Recipe
Serving Size: 4 quarts
  • 3 tblsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 full head of broccoli, chopped (and stem)
  • 6 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2-21/2 pounds of russet Idaho potatoes, skinned and cubed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • Regular Cream
  • *Optional : 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
  1. Melt butter in a large stock pot (at least 6 quarts).
  2. Cook finely chopped onion, celery, and carrot in the melted butter for 4 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
  4. Start adding potatoes.
  5. Add boiling water and the rest of the potatoes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Let simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. First 10 minute cook un-covered, and cover for the last 10 minutes.
  8. At 15 minutes in, add broccoli to cook in the stock for the last 5 minutes.
  9. Take off heat and in 1/4s add the mixture to a food processor or blender to puree.
  10. Puree until you reach a velvety texture.
  11. Add the puree back to the stock pot and taste.
  12. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  13. Pour 1 turn around the pot with the cream and mix in using a wooden spoon.
  14. Optional* Add 3 cups of cheddar cheese if you want a cheesy soup and let melt all the way before serving.
  15. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and slurp away those wintry cold and wisdom teeth extraction blues.

8 comments:

pegasuslegend said...

love love love it!~ hope your feeling better and eating solids again :)

5 Star Foodie said...

Sounds perfect for our winter storm days this weekend!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

This is a great recipe for chasing those winter blues (and wisdom teeth ones too!) away! I happen to have most of those ingredients on hand and might just have to make this week's sou this one!

jaime leah said...

this looks so delicious. and what's not to love about butter and cream?

pigpigscorner said...

It started snowing again and this is perfect! Looks so comforting.

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