This soup manages to be creamy without adding loads of heavy cream. My Uncle Joe invented it when I was a kid, and he called it “Low Cal No Cow Soup.” My version is inspired by his (although there’s a little “cow” thanks to the butter.) This could easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth.
-1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
-olive oil or butter for sauteeing
-4 or 5 medium-small red potatoes, scrubbed clean (not peeled), cubed
-1 lg. shallot, minced
-2 large broccoli crowns, chopped (approx. 3 1/2-4 cups broccoli)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 stalk celery, chopped
-sprinkling of seasoned salt
-1 Tbsp. ground coriander (don’t skip this)
-dash nutmeg, optional
-1 Tbsp. butter, optional
-3 bay leaves
-2 whole stalks celery
-1 whole carrot
-ground black pepper
-2-3 sprigs thyme
-1 box chicken broth (32 oz.)
-water as needed
-chicken bullion or stock base, if desired
1. In a large pot, bring all the stock ingredients to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan with a little olive oil, cook the onions, celery, garlic and shallot until light golden with a sprinkle of seasoned salt.
3. Remove all the solids from the stock and discard. Add the potatoes and broccoli, and enough water to cover if necessary. Bring back to a boil. Add onion mixture from the frying pan.
4. Add the remaining seasonings to the pot. Cook 10 min., or until everything is fully cooked. Stir in the butter, if using.
5. In a blender, puree 1/2 the batch of soup at a time. Recombine in the large pot. Or use that new handheld immersion blender you got for Christmas.
Heat through before serving with grated cheddar, more ground pepper, and warm baguette with butter.
I find this soup retains its fresh flavor if you don’t overcook the broccoli or simmer the soup forever. That said, it’s still quite delicious even if after been boiled to death.