When life throws you a curveball, it's good to have a backup plan.
Tonight's curveball was having to drive out to back-of-beyond to deliver additional Camp Fire candy to our intrepid sellers. Since I don't drive on the freeway (per yesterday's post), this took a good deal longer than it ought to have. Since East Portland has such incredibly poor/illegible signage, it took still longer.
But… bygones! And Plan B, in this case, was B-for-Broccoli (Cream of) Soup. An extremely simple, tasty and worthwhile endeavor all the way around. Paired with some orange chicken (thank you, Trader Joe's!) and a couple of episodes of "Monk," it's an excellent setup for a snuggly family evening.
Adapted from Mark Bittman's invaluable How to Cook Everything.
Cream of Broccoli* Soup
1 pound broccoli, florets separated and chopped, stems peeled and chopped (the stems really have lovely character and flavor! try them today!)
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
1/2 tsp red chile flakes (optional, but recommended)
1/2 to 1 cup half-and-half or cream (or whole milk, if you're being really abstemious)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, combine broccoli, potato, broth and chile flakes. Bring just to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
If you have an immersion blender, puree the soup right in the pot. If not, let soup cool a few minutes, then puree in blender or food processor. Return to low heat. Whisk in cream. Heat through. Taste and add salt and pepper as warranted.
* Works well with other vegetables, too. Try cauliflower (delicious with a bit of curry powder stirred in) or winter squash (with maybe a hint of ginger). Truly an all-purpose recipe.