In most cases, broccoli soup isn’t necessarily something that would make a person emotional. In my case, though, it kindles some wonderful memories of childhood, my beloved Grandparents, and falling in love with restaurants and dining for the first time.
My Grandparents’ means were humble, and going out to eat at a restaurant was a very special treat. One that they loved to lavish on my cousin, Jackie, and me. They would take us to an old restaurant in Fresno, California, that, sadly, closed down several years ago – The Peppermill. We’d order Shirley Temples that came in tall cocktail glasses, complete with an enormous skewer of fruit and paper umbrella. My other favorite item on the menu was broccoli soup. An odd choice for a kid, in hindsight, but it was creamy and delicious, and I don’t actually remember ordering anything else from that menu. I just loved it.
This is my version of that creamy broccoli soup. I think of my sweet Grandparents every time I make it. It also gives me a craving for a really good Shirley Temple.
- 4 tablespoons bacon fat (or butter)
- 6 cups chopped broccoli (about 3 crowns)
- 4 ribs celery, roughly chopped
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- In a large soup pan, sauté onion in bacon fat over medium/high heat until onion begins to brown slightly. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add broccoli and celery, cook until they’ve started to soften.
- Add chicken stock and Better Than Bouillon. Simmer until vegetables are very soft.
- In a separate pan, melt cubed butter over low/medium low heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour until you have a roux. Cook the roux for just about a minute, whisking around the pan, to get the raw flour taste out, then remove from heat and set aside.
- When vegetables are falling apart tender, remove soup from heat and blend until smooth using either a traditional or an immersion blender.
- Return soup to the heat, and whisk in roux a tablespoon at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
- Add cream, butter, and red pepper flakes, stirring until butter has melted.
- Finish with lemon juice.
- Serve with crusty bread, sour cream, and pepitas. Shirley Temples optional.
Broccoli soup tips and tricks
- This recipe calls for a roux, but can also be thickened by adding a few pieces of bread to the vegetable mixture and allowing it to soften before pureeing. This option works well if you’re looking to cut back on the amount of dairy you’re using or simply don’t want to dirty another pan.
- While broccoli soup is one of our favorites, this method can be used to make a creamy soup out of almost any vegetable you have in your crisper drawer. Feel free to substitute the broccoli with cauliflower, zucchini, or potatoes for an equally delicious creamy vegetable soup.
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