Broccoli soup! Easy beyond belief….
It hasn’t got 15, 20 ingredients.
It hasn’t got brown chicken stock, shallots sweated down for 20 minutes.
It hasn’t got a half a litre of white wine in there.
It’s got broccoli and water
And that’s the magic behind this soup, it’s just so easy
And it’s delicious.
How to make broccoli soup
Hold the broccoli by the stem on a chopping board and go round, and just cut off those florets. Those taste of something quite spectacular.
The first and foremost thing to do when you are looking for broccoli is to make sure it is all nice and tight, closed up. You don’t want it flowering. You want it a nice dark green as well cos you really want to focus on a nice dark, rich colour of the soup.
Okay, most important now – water boiling – rapidly boililng – cos that helps keep the colour.
Season it now as well. Too many chefs season at the end. You’ve got to cook with the salt.
Put the broccoli in. Season at the bottom and season it on top as well.
Lid back on. The lid brings the water back to the boil rapidly and it’s going to cook now for about three and a half to four minutes.
Okay, goat’s cheese. This goes really well with broccoli soup. In fact it goes really well with salad as well. It’s quite strong but if you slice it thin then the heat of the soup is going to melt it and make it a little more creamy.
How to cut goat’s milk cheese
To make it nice and thin get your knife, stick it in the boiling water and just slice through. And what happens when a knife’s nice and warm you get this really nice smooth, shiny effect. Sometimes when you slice goat’s cheese with a cold knife it starts to break but just dip it in and slice. You get more portions out of the thing, it’s not crumbling and it looks a little bit smarter.
We just want to get a knife now and run it through the broccoli and if it goes through easily so the knife clinks against the side of the pot as you cut through the broccoli easily then you don’t want to cook it any more. Four and a half minutes, nothing more than that.
Take it off the heat, into the colander and just pour. Look at the colour of the water now – it’s almost as if you’ve made your own broccoli stock. And that, for me, is the secret ingredient behind this particular dish is the water it’s cooked in.
Okay, over to the blender. Now it’s steaming, it’s piping hot, but that’s good because if you purée this, put it in the blender when it’s cold, it goes grainy and lumpy. You aren’t going to get that really nice smooth sort of velvety texture we want. Look at the colour of the broccoli. It’s coming out darker because we kept that lid on top of the pan, it’s boiled rapidly and we’ve got all that flavour in there.
The most important think now is just keeping all that water cos that’s where all the goodness is. It’s got all the flavour in there. We don’t need a chicken stock or a vegetable stock. How can you make a broccoli soup with chicken stock for God’s sake? This soup is great for vegetarians as well, bless em.
So, broccoli in the blender, add the water back in with the broccoli and then just half fill it. We don’t want it too thin. We want a thick, creamy texture. Put the lid on and then blend. Get your cloth, put it on top, hold it down nice and firm, then give the blender two or three little on-offs. What this does is let the water settle down, it starts blending but doesn’t get its momentum and shoot through the cloth. Now blend.
Before it comes out of the blender we are going to finish the seasoning, make sure it’s seasoned properly. So just taste. Hmm, lovely taste, very clean. Season it again, a little more salt ground on top. Put the lid back on. Blend again.
That almost looks like a purée now. It feels like a soup with 25 ingredients in there. But all this is is broccoli and water.
How to serve broccoli soup
Okay, it’s almost like that little sexy black number you can wear on all occasions. In a bowl place a slice of goat’s milk cheese on a couple of walnuts. Season the cheese then pour the broccoli soup all around the nuts and cheese. Drizzle olive oil over the soup to give it a bit more gloss. It gives a nice shine to the dish and sort of lifts the whole thing up.
If there is cheese left over you can put the crumbs in a cup and pour the remaining broccoli soup over – makes it creamy.
So, broccoli soup, goat’s milk cheese, and there’s a lovely creamy soup with crusty bread. Easy!