Even though fall weather in Lexington reminds me that a harsh, cold winter isn't far away, I absolutely love the fall weather here. If you're one of my friends from Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, or South Dakota (you know who you are), then go ahead and laugh at the fact that Kentucky winters are nowhere nearly as brutal as anything farther north, and I'll laugh at you when you're suffocating in the "Lexington humidity" this summer.
I digress. Fall's always been one of my favorite seasons, though growing up in Alabama, we didn't so much have "fall" as we did a week of cooler weather in November somewhere between summer and winter. With legitimate fall weather comes many culinary desires - I crave the warmth of pumpkin, nuts, apples, cinnamon and nutmeg, which means I'll be making a pumpkin soup before too long. In the meatime, and since Rose bought a bunch of fresh broccoli this week, I made a delicious and insanely healthy broccoli soup for dinner last night. It's not a cream-based soup, which cuts out tons of fat found in traditional broccoli-cream soups. Anne will have to verify, but I think it may be vegan friendly, if one uses vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Based on a Rachael Ray recipe, here is:
Fresh Broccoli Soup
lots of fresh broccoli florets with parts of the stems (I think I used about 5 cups? not sure though)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
couple splashes of Tabasco sauce
4-5 cups of chicken (or vegetable) stock
freshly ground black pepper
good amount of salt
In a stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Sautee onion and garlic with salt and pepper and thyme and Tabasco. Add broccoli and chicken broth, bring to a boil and cook until broccoli is tender. With an immersion blender (or in a food processor or in a regular blender), puree the hot soup mixture. Be careful and don't burn yourself, as I often do. Return pureed mix to pot, salt again liberally to adjust seasoning, simmer for 15 minutes. Top with cheddar or mozzarella cheese, and a pat of butter if you're feeling so inclined, and serve with:
Mozzarella Cheesy Bread
1 flour tortilla
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Place cheese in the tortilla, fold in half, and heat up in the pan, flipping once, until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces and use to dip in the soup.
I was beyond frustrated last night when I tried to puree the soup mixture in our blender, and all the broccoli-flavored watery goodness started spilling out of the bottom before I even got it on the stand to puree. After saying several curse words and scaring Smokey, I brought out the immersion blender which scared poor Smokes even more (not that I blame him; I, too, am scared of the immersion blender) and it worked just fine. If I was making the soup at Casa Milam, I would most certainly instead used my trusty KitchenAid Food Processor, my favorite countertop kitchen appliance next to the Melitta Mill & Brew. It never spews broth out of its orifices, and it results in the most amazingly textured everything. But. In A-50, we have little counter space, so the KitchenAid lives at Casa Milam. Along with my trusty KitchenAid hand mixer, and LeCreuset stock pot. And my fiance. Sad.
Anyway. Go make broccoli soup. It's low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber, and green. Delicious.