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