With all the rain that we’ve had this week, I’ve had a real desire for comfort food. What says comfort more than soup? So I cracked open the fridge to see what I had. Luckily for me, I had some really great ingredients such as fresh broccoli, cauliflower, onions, celery and light cream (5%). I thought to myself, “Why not make a pureed soup??” So I did!
It was a real experiment. First, I boiled the broccoli and cauliflower (in the same pot) until they were quite soft. Then I drained these in a colander in the sink and set them aside. In the dutch oven pot, I then added 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter and reduced the heat to low-medium. A quarter of a really large Vidalia onion was sliced and cut up roughly and sautéd in the dutch oven with celery, garlic and rough-chopped turkey bacon (for flavour).
Once the onions and celery were tender, I added 1 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, some dried oregano and basil, a pinch or two of white sugar, a little celery powder, a couple pinches of kosher salt, and about 2 Tbsp of chili pepper puree (bought in a tube!). I then raised the heat to medium, let things really start to sizzle, then I deglazed with 1 cup of a nice, white wine (on the sweeter side). Once this began to simmer, I added 3-4 cups of beef broth, 1.5 cup of light cream (what I had on hand) and the broccoli and cauliflower, stirred everything up until heated through again.
Temporarily, I removed the pot from the heat, plugged in my hand-blender and worked on getting the entire mixture blended up. Now, due to the crumbly nature of cauliflower and broccoli, I didn’t get it into a smooth consistency. I suppose I could have strained it if I really wanted it smoother, but I kind of liked the grainier texture. I’ll warn that the blending took a little doing and you may have to adjust the liquid (read: add more) as you’re mixing if you give this a go. Then, I took a little taste.
It seemed to be missing something although it was tasting pretty good, so I put the pot back on the stove, added about 1/2 cup of skim milk to help thin it out a little, 1 good tablespoon of curry powder, some freshly cracked black pepper, a little more salt and 2 small bay leaves. After simmering on low for a few minutes, I tasted it again and still felt something was missing, so I went looking around in the cupboards and came across a shaker bottle of Club House’s parmesan and herb pasta mixture. I shook some of this into the soup and voila, that seemed to be the missing component — the parmesan! So I raised the heat on this and brought it to a boil, then lowered the heat to allow it to simmer for another 10-15 minutes so all the flavours could marry and mellow. This was served with asiago and cheddar shredded and mixed into it (no cheddar for hubby as he’s not a fan).
It turned out so well that my hubby went back for seconds, saying (and I quote), “Numnumnumnum…” I only had one bowl, but I know it’s there if I get hungry later!