Broccoli Bisque

It’s officially that time of year: soup time.  You can make a pot of soup any day of the week and be guaranteed that your partner will walk in the door of their warm and cozy house and exclaim “that smells good!”  Kevin really likes this soup specifically, and the night I made it he exclaimed with glee: “I smell leeks!”

Although broccoli is the most obvious ingredient in this soup, I think leeks are actually the show stealer. They lend a mild oniony zip, without being overpowering. They’re a great base for the soup. Leeks are always a bit finicky to get washed and chopped, so I use a technique I learned from watching Jacques Pepin on PBS one lazy Sunday long ago. You cut the leaks into 4 lengthwise, but keep the root intact, that way you can easily wash them, and you don’t end up with strings of leek all over the place.

This soup recipe is my take on one that appeared a few years ago in the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine. I really love reading Food & Drink, their photography is so lovely and the food so tempting. And I always find a wine or two that I want to try. My one beef with the magazine is that I find their food a bit inaccessible to the average person. Everything has too many ingredients, or obscure ingredients that you’ll buy for their recipe and never use again. I hate that, and generally cook nothing that I see in the magazine. One issue this year had tips for unusual drinks, and correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there was a bacon-infused vodka recipe. For a magazine that is free to the Ontario public, they might want to try to be a little bit more relatable.

However, one autumn issue had several easy-to-make soups, and this broccoli bisque was one of them. It has 8 ingredients, most of which you will probably already have in your fridge or cupboard.

Ingredients

  • 3 leeks, white and light green part only, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, stems included, roughly chopped
  • 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes (or 1 large), peeled and cubed
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup light cream or milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Saute leeks in oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in broccoli and potato, saute another few minutes. Cover vegetables with chicken stock, bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender (or ordinary blender), puree the ingredients until velvety smooth.
  4. Add in cream, bring soup back to boil and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This soup is simple, but perfect. Which I think is the mark of culinary genius. I’m always happiest with meals I slaved the least over. This soup is great as a main, add some bread and cheese on the side and you’re set. It’s also a good first course, and because it is so unfussy, I think it would be a lovely start to a dinner party.

It keeps well, never forming that annoying skin that a lot of cream soups are prone to, and is thick enough to travel in your lunch bag without leaking. Make a pot for dinner one night, and you’ll have some lunches set to go as well.

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