Welcome to my very first blog post and Happy first day of Spring 2018, the vernal or Spring equinox. The one day of the year when we have equal lengths of night and day. The day we should be able to look forward to the warm weather and put away the snow shovels, but with another storm on the horizon, I guess I’ll wait to put them away and just make some soup instead.
Living in Maine, I’m used to the winter and the massive amounts of snow we get, but we’ve been beaten up by Mother Nature these past few weeks, so I was looking forward to the first day of Spring. Much to my dismay, it was 16 degrees when I woke up this morning. This is not the way I wanted to start Spring. Not to mention that my mailbox was still half-buried from the last snowstorm and was in desperate need of digging out. So, by the time I was done with the outside chores, I was ready for a warm bowl of soup.
I love this recipe. There are many different variations that all work with the same basic recipe. I used to make plain Cream of Broccoli Soup, then one day I had leftover home-fried potatoes from breakfast. I knew it wouldn’t be enough for another meal and I don’t like to waste food, so I saved it and put in my bowl of cream of broccoli soup for dinner. Now, this is one of my favorites.
It’s so versatile. You can substitute the broccoli with cauliflower, asparagus, corn, or even mushrooms, if you like. If you don’t have time to home-fry the potatoes, you can leave them out. As an added treat, I like to add cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles.
What kind of soups do you like on a cold day? If you try this recipe, I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.
Cream of Broccoli and Potato Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 tbsp butter divided
- 6 medium potatoes cubed
- 6 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 cup celery approx 2 stalks diced
- 1 pound frozen or fresh broccoli chopped to bite size pieces
- 3 1/2 cups milk divided
- 1/2 cup flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- cheddar cheese optional
- bacon crumbles optional
In a large pan, heat olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter over medium/high heat until butter has melted. Add cubed potatoes and stir until the potatoes are well coated. Add salt and pepper if desired. Heat uncovered for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are browned. Cover and continue cooking over heat reduced to medium/low, stirring occasionally for approximately 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
While the potatoes finish cooking, in a separate medium pot (about 5 quarts), add chicken stock, broccoli, onions and celery. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are done to a desired tenderness. Add 2 cups of milk and the remaining 6 tbsps. of butter. Continue simmering until the butter has melted.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and the flour. Whisk thoroughly to remove any lumps. Gradually add this mixture to the soup, whisking constantly. Cook for at least 5 minutes so you thoroughly eliminate the raw flour taste. Soup will thicken as it cools.