It's St Patrick's day! And after 'bastardising' the classic Irish shepherd's pie, I thought I'd redeem myself with a very green soup!
I'm sure we've all had our own fair share of broccoli and stilton soups, and while I love the savoury richness of cheese with broccoli, I want to really celebrate the flavour of broccoli. This velvety soup has nothing but broccoli in it, no cream, no potato, no stock, no caramelised shallots. It really is just broccoli. But believe me, it's definitely not lacking in flavour or texture. I was doubtful too when I first saw Gordon Ramsay share this recipe, but I tried it, and I love it, and once again, he's a genius.
Naked Broccoli Soup
1 large head of broccoli, florets only (if you want it really green)
2-3 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1. Bring a pot of water (just enough to cover the broccoli) to the boil, with half the sea salt.
2. Add the broccoli and boil rapidly till cooked i.e. can pierce. Do not overboil unless you want brown soup.
3. Add in the remaining sea salt and black pepper and blend. Test for seasoning after that again. It's the constant seasoning in stages that makes all the difference.
(Ramsay drains the broccoli, but saves the stock- yes, that boiling water chock full of broccoli is all the stock you need- to add to the pureed broccoli. Since I like to minimise the number of dishes to wash, I make sure I start out the right amount of water and use a hand blender, so I've only got that and the pot to wash hehe)
4. Serve with a sprinkle of garlic herb sourdough croutons (see below) and a drizzle of evoo.
Garlic Herb Sourdough Croutons
you can easily double or triple the recipe for some easy salad/soup toppers; it's a great way to use up stale bread.
1 slice of sourdough bread, cut into small cubes
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1/2 tsp of dried herbs (any you fancy)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Over medium heat, add the garlic and dried herbs to the evoo, until the garlic is lightly browned.
3. Pour the garlic and herb-infused oil over the sourdough bread cubes, tossing to coat all of them evenly.
4. Spread the bread cubes out over a baking tray, and bake for about 30 min, stirring halfway through, or till crunchy.
I'm sure you're itching to throw in a rind of parmesan or screaming "some nutmeg!" at the laptop screen, but no, just try to taste the simple clean flavours of broccoli in this creamy (yet light) soup for once, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.