Happy Soup Week, everyone! Yes, I do realize that I just made up an arbitrary week-long holiday for no good reason. I just wanted an excuse to make it easier to cope with that undeniable chill in the air, and making up a celebration seemed like the best way to do that. Every day this week, I'll be sharing a different hearty bowl of warmth with you. I'm kicking it off today with one that's all about the broccoli.
Broccoli soup and all its variations (cream of broccoli, broccoli cheese) have always been one of my favorites.
The best thing about this soup is that it's sufficiently creamy, but there's no dairy in it, other than the pinch of shredded cheese I threw on top. It's thickened with a handful of rolled oats, which freaked me out at first, but they're impossible to detect in the finished product. The original recipe called for nutmeg, but it's one of the few seasonings I can't stand, so I left it out. Feel free to throw it back in there if you're feeling nutty. I added chives because I had some, and also topped each bowl with some Mexican blend shredded cheese, which gave it a nice tang.
Please see this post for some tips about safely pureeing extra-hot things in blenders.
Creamy Broccoli Soup
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Great Food Fast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (use veggie broth for vegetarian)
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, florets separated, stems cut into 1/2-inch rounds
Coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
Chives for garnish (optional)
Shredded cheese for topping (optional)
1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion; cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups water, the oats, and the broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the broccoli is tender, 5-10 minutes.
3. Puree the soup in batches, filling the blender halfway or less. Return the soup to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Top with chopped chives and sprinkle with cheese, if using. Serve immediately.