Broccoli Cauliflower Soup

img_3736

A couple weeks ago I experimented with new concoctions for dinners several nights in a row.  The first night that my husband dished up seconds was when I made this soup.  That was a good sign for the soup.  Not so good for the other dishes which I will probably not make again.  Originally I made this soup with just broccoli.  The second time I added cauliflower and made the soup for our good friends.  It was a hit.  ‘Tis soup season now and I’m sure I will make this often using both broccoli and cauliflower.

Ingredients:

2 cups sliced leeks

2 cups of broccoli flowerettes

2 cups of cauliflower

broccoli and cauliflower stems diced

6 cups of chicken broth

6 T butter

6 T flour

3 cups of whole milk

3 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and smoked gouda)

1 cup shredded carrots

grated nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

img_3765

Slice the leeks and broccoli and cauliflower stems.  Rinse them well, especially the leeks which tend to store up a lot of sand.

img_3741 img_3739

Put the leeks and the vegetable stems in a heavy kettle or Dutch oven with about a cup of the broth and cook over medium high heat until they are softened, 10-15 minutes.  Once the vegetables have softened use an immersion blender off heat and purée.  Add the remaining broth and bring to a simmer.

img_3740img_3734

Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower flowerettes.  Drop them into ice water to stop the cooking and set aside.  Grate the carrots.

img_3772 img_3766

Next make a cheese sauce.  Melt 6 T of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple minutes whisking constantly.

img_3753 img_3743

Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer.  Gradually add the cheese whisking until it melts.

img_3735

Add the cheese mixture to the broth and vegetables.  Stir in the flowerettes, grated carrot and nutmeg.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

img_3746 img_3760

Simmer until the vegetables are thoroughly heated.  Ladle up and enjoy!  Great served with homemade croutons.

img_3757

NOTE:  I took all of my photos when I made the first batch of soup so you don’t see any cauliflower.  But the cauliflower was a great addition.  Also a little cayenne pepper or Frank’s hot sauce is a tasty add in.  Any good melting cheese can be substituted for the sharp cheddar and smoky gouda.

Potato Leek Soup with Roasted Poblano Peppers

image

On subzero days nothing is more comforting than a pot of soup. And it seems this is a winter that will require many pots of soup. Potato leek soup is one of my favorites.  And leeks remind me of some of the shenanigans my 87 year old father has recounted from his childhood. Apparently he and his friends would go out into the woods behind school on their lunch hour and pull up all the wild leeks they could find. Wild leeks that resembled little green onions. They would eat enough of them to get breath so bad the teacher would send them home for the afternoon. Eventually the teachers got wise to the pranking and forbade them eating leeks during school hours. This summer I’m going to look in the woods by my house for wild leeks. For now I’ll buy the leeks my grocery carries and sells by the pound when only a third of the leek is actually edible.

Soup Ingredients:

3-4 leeks, white and light green portion sliced

2 pounds or so of golden potatoes peeled and cubed

4-5 cloves of garlic minced

4 T butter

2 poblano peppers roasted, peeled and diced

4 cups chicken broth

2 tsp dried thyme

1 T franks hot sauce

1 cup half-n-half (optional)

fresh parsley rough chopped

salt and pepper to taste

image

Slice the leeks and wash them well. Leeks have lots of sand and grit.

image

image

Melt the butter in your favorite soup kettle, add the leeks and salt and pepper, cover the pot and cook over low heat for about ten minutes. Be careful not to brown the leeks.

image

While the leeks are cooking roast the poblanos over a flame or in the oven until they have a nice char. Put them into a covered bowl to steam. Once the peppers have cooled peel and chop them.

image

Add the chopped peppers and the garlic to the leeks and stir for a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant.

image

Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the potatoes are fork tender; about 20 minutes.

image

Once the potatoes are done use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Or you can use a standard blender and purée the soup in batches.

image

Stir in the thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and the Franks. If you choose, a cup of half-n-half will make the soup a little richer and creamier.

image

Garnish the soup with parsley and some shredded sharp cheddar. Potato, leek and roasted poblano soup. It’s what was for dinner.

image

NOTE:  I’m not a soup and crackers person but I do like croutons in my soup. I had leftover garlic bread from a pasta dinner a couple nights ago. I cubed the bread and dried it in the oven and it made perfect croutons.