80. Slow and Steady Broccoli Soup with Olive Oil

Crisp vegetables have their place–and that place is generally on a tray of crudites, not in soup.

After my last sorta disappointing experiment with broccoli soup, I was eager to try a different technique that promised that slow-cooking the broccoli would produce something delicious, something were the broccoli's soft texture would be an asset rather than a mouthful of mushy meh. This recipe, from Alice Waters via James Peterson, promised to do exactly that.

I was a tinch dubious about this soup as I was cooking it. For one, the ingredients are so few and so simple–would they really combine synergistically to produce something greater than the sum of the parts?

For another, I didn't have either real-true-long-simmered chicken broth or my trusty standby Better-Than-Bouillon… so I was nervous about the flavor of the substitute quick & dirty broth we created from frozen chicken & veg trimmings.

For a final, I wasn't cooking at home–we're visiting Jac and Mike, and I was cooking in an unfamiliar kitchen with a glass-topped electric range unlike anything I'm at all used to.

Ultimately, though, even Mike, a notorious skeptic when it comes to my cooking in general and soup in particular, ended up tipping his bowl to the side and eating up the last stray drops of broth.

Slow-Cooked Broccoli Soup with Olive Oil
Serves six

2 pounds broccoli
8 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 cup (no, seriously–though I probably used actually more like 1/3 cup) good olive oil
6 cups chicken broth (or good vegetable broth, esp. made with mushroom stems)
1 tsp salt, preferably sea salt
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Shaved or grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Trim the broccoli stalks, peel the stems and slice them thinly. Chop the crowns into 1" florets.

Combine broccoli, garlic, olive oil, broth, salt, thyme and pepper flakes in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over very low heat for 1 hour or until broccoli is falling-apart tender. Taste and correct seasoning.

Ladle into bowls; top each serving with plenty of Parmesan cheese.

It's not a super-lovely color when it's done, but the flavor is
seriously worth it. You could even garnish it with a squiggle of creme
fraiche, were you so inclined and did you have creme fraiche hanging

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
This entry was posted in Food and Drink, Recipes, Vegetarian Option and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 80. Slow and Steady Broccoli Soup with Olive Oil

  1. aprila says:

    Mmmm…sounds super yummy! Added to my list!
    My 15 year old is getting tired of soup at least once a week, but I told him it was just too bad for him that he didn’t live on his own and make his own food! 🙂 Keep ’em coming!

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