Well, despite the eagerness of the local cherry trees, it has once again returned to winter here in Santa Cruz. While walking home from school for lunch today I snagged this shot of a sad cherry blossom tree.
In keeping with the seasons I picked up some veggies on my way home and decided to make my favorite Broccoli, potato and leek soup. The recipe was created after I first discovered how awesome leeks were at making soups creamy without having to add cream. This means a healthy, yet bewilderingly rich soup.Originally this was made with cauliflower, but using the kitchen sink approach I used broccoli one day and found that it not only looked beautiful, but tasted much better than the previous incarnations.
Creamy Broccoli Soup (serves 4-6)
- 2 Medium sized leeks
- 1 large crown of broccoli
- 1 lbs of potatoes (russet or yukon gold)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbls olive oil
- 1 quart broth
- 1 bay leaf
- fresh parsley or thyme
- salt and pepper
Using just the white-light green parts of the leeks, slice them vertically and then into 1/4 inch thick slivers. Cut the onion into pieces roughly the same size. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil. Fry the leeks and onions on medium-high heat until they begin to turn translucent and a pale sauce has appear. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for another 4 minutes. Add the broth, bay leaf, thyme/parsley (or any herbs you have around and want to use) and the peeled and cubed potatoes and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place lid on the pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime cut up the broccoli, removing most of the stems. Once the potatoes in the soup have cooked, add in the broccoli and allow the soup to simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the broccoli is soft. Remove any herbs you may have put in, and using an immersion blender, liquefy the soup. (You can also use a normal blender, I just hate pouring hot liquids from one container to another if it can be avoided) Once satisfied with the smoothness of the soup, use a fine mesh strainer and strain the soup, using the back of a ladle to help it through. You may have to go back an blend a little more. Once the soup is blended up, add salt and pepper to taste and voila add a little Parmesan and you are done.