Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Broccoli Apple Soup
I’m basking in warm sunshine (through the window) and a happy post-Thanksgiving glow. I am deeply grateful for our family members who traveled to spend the holiday with us and for our time gathered around the table sharing meals together. It was a warm, festive Thanksgiving weekend indeed. I hope you enjoyed the same!
After indulging in a Thanksgiving feast, I find it’s time for some simple food. Perhaps because it’s eaten from a bowl, allowing you to cup your hands around it and inhale its warm scent, soup provides the ultimate nourishing comfort. Soup is soothing and fills you up without feeling heavy ... very welcome after lots of stuffing and pie.
This Broccoli Apple Soup is beloved in our family and Isaac’s favorite. The original recipe comes from our dear friends, Ralph and Jane, two of the most nurturing, caring people I know. They would cook a pot of soup for you in a heartbeat! I’ve played with the recipe just a bit and it has even been mentioned in the NY Times. This is good soup. I recently discovered through Cook’s Illustrated that adding a handful of fresh spinach to broccoli soup pumps up the broccoli flavor and results in a more vivid green color, so I’ve added some spinach to the recipe, too.
Simple ingredients - broccoli, apples, onions, butter and broth - create a satisfying, hearty, comforting meal. You can use any variety of apples you like, just keep in mind they will affect how sweet or tart your soup becomes. I used Aurora apples this last time, crisp with a nice bit of sweetness, and they were quite good. A swirl of thick yogurt to finish adds tangy flavor and rounds out the earthy sweetness.
It’s getting dark early now (4:30pm!), so I see a lot of soup in the coming months, preferably sipped by a fire with a cozy blanket.
Broccoli Apple Soup
1 large head of broccoli
3 large apples (Golden Delicious or Aurora are good)
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
6 cups vegetable broth
A generous handful of fresh spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Thick, plain yogurt to dollop (optional)
Cut the broccoli florets off the stalk and set aside. Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Peel the apples, core and cut into 1-inch pieces.
In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and apple chunks. Saute about 6 minutes. Add the broth and the broccoli stalks. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the broccoli florets to the soup and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat. Toss in a generous handful of fresh spinach and stir.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt.