Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Creamy Broccoli Soup

A long time family favorite has been a visit to the 'Sage' Restaurant for fresh bread & their signature 'Creamy Broccoli Soup.'
Since she was little, my 9 year old granddaughter has asked to go to the Sage for soup. Since going gluten free this summer, we haven't gone there, though we could still have one of their awesome salads, or a soup made without flour to thicken it. (& no bread - sniff!) We have the recipe, which includes grated cabbage & carrots, plus a 'rouix' made with milk & wheat flour.

Last week's CSA share included 3 heads of Broccoli & one of cauliflower - & a suggestion from 'one of last years subscribers for broccoli/cauliflower soup: 'Chop up broccoli and/or cauliflower (and possible some onions and/or garlic) and toss evenly with oil. Roast at 400° until tender. Meanwhile, heat up some good quality broth (we use homemade chicken stock) on the stove. Add the roasted broccoli/cauliflower to the soup pot and simmer for a few minutes. Transfer about half the soup to a blender and blend smooth. Return to the pot and also stir in some grated cheddar cheese and/or cream. Salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with crusty bread. Easy, warming, and delicious!"

Can I just say yum??

This recipe is open to interpretation - I usually make my own broth by simmering trimmings (onion & garlic skins & ends, carrot tops, pepper & tomatoe ends, aspargus, mushrooms, etc) that I've stored in the freezer (keeps them from getting slimy in the veggie drawer!) for ~ 20 minutes while chopping the cauliflower & etc.
I don't add cole (cabbage, broccoli, etc) crop trimmings to stock - tends to make it too strong.
I do add a piece of Kombu (kelp) a bay leaf & fresh or dried herbs. Cheese can be added (or not) at the time of serving - I don't add it to the 'basic soup.'
I use coconut oil to spoon over the veggies, & I used that hot oven to roast a delicata squash & a beet or two (seperate pans) at the same time. I could see doing a beet soup using the roasted beets.

I added a grated carrot to that first soup; a sweet potato & about 1/4 of a small squash to the second batch. I chop the pieces of broccoli & cauliflower left whole pretty small, as that's a feature of the Sage version. That recipe also calls for Lowery seasoned salt (gluten & colour free, so my daughter has a jar), or I've used Hawaiian Alaea salt.

This makes a lovely curry as well - I add coconut milk to the blended soup, & a bit of curry paste (gluten free :) when I'm reheating a bit. Today I heated & curried some for lunch, adding squash slices, fresh red pepper, beet tops, fresh (uncooked) garlic, & a sprinkle of kelp.

This week our share included a fat cabbage & exotic broccolini or some such - doesn't it look too pretty to cook!!

Over on Suzie's blog she raises the question 'what is homemade?' - I tend to do a lot 'from scratch' - but like her sense of food made in your kitchen with love & care!

A friend who's Choktaw, Cherokee & Celtic (Welsh) told me her mom & aunties always sang while cooking, & chased her out of the kitchen when she was in a bad mood! I love that image, & remind myself to sing more when I'm cooking!

While blogging around, I found this delightful idea for a pumpkin smoothie!!
Oh my!
Pumpkin Smoothie* (* recipe from Chris Freytag, via 'journey to fitville)

½ cup canned pumpkin

1 small container Greek yogurt (1/4- 1/2 C)
Approximately 1 Tbsp agave syrup
Dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

6 oz (3/4 cup) almond milk
6-8 ice cubes

I made this a couple of times yesterday, scooping out pieces of the delicata Squash I'd baked the other day, & my favorite 'Greek Gods' Yogurt! Last night, I added ~ 1/4 C frozen blueberries - & it still tasted GREAT, plus having more antioxidents. Lee added a 'scoop of french vanilla whey protein,' & I tried that in the second batch.
I am going to experiment with sweet potatoes, as I have some of those from my share. I enjoyed this, as I love pumpkin/squash etc, but don't really care for the sweetness of pumpkin pie. This was just right!

& looking for a beet soup recipe, found one in The Sustainable Kitchen that calls for rhubarb! That would be good for a spring soup, thought of trying it with cranberries for the fall!
It calls for roasted beets, rhubarb, onion, garlic, ginger, 1/2 c red wine plus a bit of balsamic vinegar, stock & a bay leaf. It's heated & blended, with some of the beets cut into match sized slivers for garnish.

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