Creamy Broccoli With Mustard Soup
A pureed vegetable soup can be an impressive, easy and affordable first course for an elegant dinner, or even a light dinner on its own with salad and bread.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ pounds broccoli - stems peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks, remaining broccoli cut into medium florets
- 1large onion, cut into large dice
- 1tablespoon butter
- 1pinch sugar
- 3large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 1½ teaspoons dry mustard
- ½teaspoon basil
- ¼teaspoon oregano
- ⅛teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3cups chicken broth, homemade or from a carton or can
- 1½ cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Garnish: toasted pine nuts*
Step 1Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.
Step 2Add broccoli, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until vegetables start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
Step 3Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.
Step 4Add mustard, basil, oregano, and cayenne pepper; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.
Step 5Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.
Step 6Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid's pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To 'clean' the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)
Step 7Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.