Cream of Broccoli Soup

  • 2 pounds broccoli, separated into stems and florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 each onion, yellow, chopped
  • 1 each leek, white or light green parts, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour, all-purpose
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup cream, heavy, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper, freshly ground to taste
Set aside 1 cup of the nicest-looking small broccoli florets for garnish. Coarsely chop the remaining florets and the stems.

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, leeks, celery, and chopped broccoli. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, to make a blond roux, 5 minutes.

Add broth to the pot gradually, whisking well to work out any lumps. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until flavorful and thickened, about 45 minutes. Stir frequently and skim as needed.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Add reserved broccoli florets and parboil, cooking until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Remove florets with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice water. Once cool, drain and reserve.

Strain soup, reserving both the solids and the broth. Purée the solids, adding broth as needed to facilitate puréeing. Combine the purée with enough of the reserved broth to achieve the consistency of heavy cream. Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve, if desired. Return the soup to a simmer.

Remove soup from heat and add cream and lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the reserved florets.

Yield: 8 servings