Sunday, October 26, 2008

Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

Last fall I bought The Big Book of Soups & Stews by Maryana Vollstedt. DH and I love soups, and this is a great book with a good variety of soup recipes. This time out, I decided to make Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup, with just a few minor changes. I made these changes because: 1) I almost never make a recipe exactly as it is written (unless it's baking). 2) I like the taste of veggies that have been sauteed before going into the soup. 3) Everything tastes better with bacon. This is a good soup, but not a stand-alone meal. We ate it with grilled cheese sandwiches. The recipe follows, with my changes in italics.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets (I used the entire head, not just the florets)

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower florets

  • 2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cubed

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (I used the half a sweet onion I had sitting in the fridge)

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth (I used a full can, about 2 cups)

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine (optional)

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping (I didn't use this)

  • 1 pound center cut bacon, cut into bite-size pieces

In a soup pot, fry bacon pieces until crisp. Remove to paper towel lined plate, leaving fat in the pot. Add vegetables to soup pot, saute for approximately 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup of the stock to the pot and bring to a boil (1 cup didn't seem enough to simmer the veggies in, I added the full two cups at this time). Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Add milk, remaining 1/2 cup stock, thyme, salt, pepper, and butter, if using, and simmer, uncovered, until ingredients are blended, about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese (I topped with the bacon pieces instead).

I labeled this recipe as vegetarian, because if you omit the bacon and use a vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock, you can easily make this into a vegetarian dish.

Please excuse my photos, I have resigned myself to the fact that I probably won't get a decent photo of dinner until spring. It's dark before dinner here, and we live in the woods making it even darker. So fluorescent lighting and a flash it is.

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