Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Easy Cheesy Broccoli Soup with Spicy Homemade Croutons

If we have broccoli in the fridge I usually make this pasta dish. It’s a house favorite & is super easy to make from memory - no recipe needed if you make it as much as I do.  Every now & then I do like to change up even favorites which is always risky, but this time my friends it was a win - a big fat win. In fact, Chris calls this soup “the best soup I’ve ever had.”  I don’t mean to brag but I’ll take it.  It has all the same flavors of our favorite pasta dish with all the comfort of a soup. Plus, I added some spicy homemade croutons for a bit of crunch on top.

Besides being super tasty this soup is EASY! Give it a try & let me know if you like it as much as we did.
For the soup:

  • 2 large heads of broccoli, cut into flourettes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, peeled & smashed
  • 1 box of chicken or veggie stock (about 4-5 cups)
  • salt & pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup peccorino romano cheese, grated
For the croutons:
  • 2 english muffins, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup peccorino roman cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Make the soup!
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add broccoli & cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain broccoli & set aside.
  4. Return the same large pot to the stove top. Heat the garlic in the oil for about 2 minutes. The garlic should start to look golden brown on the outside.
  5. Return the broccoli to the pot (with the oil & garlic).
  6. Season the broccoli with salt, pepper & red pepper flakes.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes to marry the flavors together.
  8. Add the chicken/veggie stock. Cover the pot & cook for about 25 minutes over medium heat.
  9. The broccoli should be nice & mushy.
  10. Remove about a cup of the broccoli flourettes & reserve on the side.
  11. Turn the heat off.  Using an immersion blender puree the remaining mixture until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender use a regular blender but work in batches & be careful this mixture will be very hot!
  12. Once you have the soup consistency you like return the reserve broccoli to the pot.
  13. Stir in all of the cheese. Taste the soup & season with more salt & pepper as needed.
  14. Serve hot topped with croutons & more grated cheese if you please.

Make the croutons!
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
  2. Toss all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Transfer uncooked croutons to a baking sheet or another pan with a lip so that they don’t fall off the edge.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  5. Toss them about half way & keep an eye on your bread to make sure it doesn’t burn (this may happen if your pieces are very small).

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