Roasted broccoli soup May 8, 2010Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Vegetables.
I’ve never been a huge fan of broccoli – or, until recently, brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts were always one of those things many people all seemed forced to eat as children until they were old enough to object – and then many people never eat them again. This was the case with both H and I until we came across this recipe at The Bitten Word. It was simple: chop up brussels sprouts, apples and bacon, toss with a bit of olive oil, and roast until the brussels sprouts begin to caramelise. This is really really delicious! If you think you don’t like brussels sprouts, try this recipe and let me know afterwards if you’ve changed your mind!
Judging from the Nero Wolfe Cookbook, Nero Wolfe is not a huge fan of broccoli either. Only one recipe for broccoli is listed, and it is merely a side dish for a larger dish.
With the weather turning cooler, I decided to use the above roasting recipe as the basis for a broccoli and brussels sprout soup. I figured if this method could make one hated (for me) vegetable so delicious, maybe it could do the same with broccoli too! To begin, I chopped up broccoli and brussels sprouts, and added onion, garlic and bacon. I drizzled on some olive oil and tossed the whole mix around.
I roasted this in the oven for around 30 minutes. About halfway through I turned the vegetables around so they cooked evenly. If you are interested in trying the brussels sprouts recipe mentioned above, here’s approximately what they will look like when they come out of the oven.
Meanwhile, I decided to add a bit of body to the soup by adding chicken, so simmered some chicken pieces until they were cooked. I reserved the water they simmered in for later blending with the soup.
By this time, the vegetables had cooked and were out of the oven. I began blending most ingredients together, reserving most of the bacon and the chicken pieces. Here’s the obligatory blender shot.
As you can see, some of the bacon and the chicken escaped and were blended along with the broccoli and brussels sprouts! As I was blending, I added in the water I’d simmered the chicken in. I was surprised as I was blending just how much water it took to get the vegetables moving in the blender and blended finely. I ended up blending the vegetables in several batches to avoid an unwieldy amount of vegetables in the blender – and any subsequent catastrophes! When it was all blended, I served it with a small piece of (uncooked) broccoli on top to act as a garnish.
So, the verdict: while this soup wasn’t bad, I’m not sure I’d make it again (although H may disagree as he enjoyed it very much). More importantly, I’m not sure I’ve reversed my thinking about broccoli the way I have about brussels sprouts. The roasting of the vegetables really made a difference with a delicious roasted flavour coming through. It was remarkably creamy – even though no cream or milk had been added – and it really seemed as if cheese or cream had been used, and the bacon added both texture and a nice saltiness to the soup. However, all in all, it was still a broccoli-based dish and for me my overall opinion of broccoli hasn’t changed, unfortunately!
I’m very glad I made this dish as I’m all for trying new things or revisiting previously unliked things. I think in this case I’ll stick with Nero Wolfe and only have broccoli occasionally, and only to a side dish to other things, rather than elevating its place in the kitchen.