Broccoli and apple soup recipe
What I love most about making soup: you start out in one direction, end up somewhere else altogether, and rather than going off the rails and into the compost, your dish most likely will be spectacular. And so it was with this broccoli and apple soup, which is the very first dish on which my new cooking assistant, Kathy, and I collaborated. We started with a recipe in Best of Irish Soups, a small cookbook my friend Lucia brought from her last visit home to Ireland. The original recipe called for cream, but we went a different route, adding lemon zest to brighten the flavor, and a good pinch of black pepper for bite. The apples provided sweetness that married well with the broccoli. This make-ahead-and-freeze soup just might be my contribution to this winter's Soup Swap.
Broccoli and apple soup
Inspired by a recipe in Best of Irish Soups, this recipe serves 6.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 medium apples, cored, cut into large chunks
1 medium bunch of broccoli, woody ends of stems removed, stems and florets roughly chopped
1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
Zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds
In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the apples and broccoli, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the stock, and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes or until the broccoli stems are soft when pierced with a knife. Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Remove the pot from heat and set aside for 5 minutes.
In a dry nonstick frying pan, toast the almonds over low heat, shaking the pan frequently, for 3-4 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted and give off a pleasant aroma.
Using an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot -- or purée in batches in a food processor and return the soup to the pot. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve hot, topped with the toasted almonds, or chill for several hours and serve cold.