As kids, we all had our special tricks that we used to get out of eating our vegetables at dinner. As a stubborn little kid who was determined to not be told what to do, even if doing the thing was going to be beneficial to me, I had a few of my own tricks up my sleeve. My personal favorite (besides just sitting at the table with my arms crossed and refusing to eat) was stuffing the food in my mouth, pretending to chew it up, then asking to be excused to the bathroom because of my “extremely sudden urge to pee,” then spitting it out in the toilet. Regardless of whether or not I was actually fooling my parents, it had to be done because the idea of actually chewing and swallowing that horrifyingly green piece of raw herbage was just repulsive.
The good news is that I have it all figured out now. When I have kids, I’m going to turn the tables and trick THEM into eating an ooey gooey creamy mix of all their worst nightmares. If you would also like to deceive your children and hoax them into eating something dreadfully healthy, please read on. Feel free to also come to me for parenting advice.
Not only will your kids be eating this, but I may even catch you licking it out of their bowls once they’ve left and “gone to the bathroom.” Here’s the recipe for a mean & green cream of broccoli soup that’ll leave you scavenging for more.
First things first. You’re going to need: butter, an onion, flour, broccoli, vegetable or chicken broth, and a few other things that I omitted in order to maintain an air of mystery and certainly not because I just forgot.
Now, the fanciest part of this recipe is as follows. We’re going to be making what the French call a roux, which is a mixture of flour and a fat such as butter heated together and is the base for a few of the most common French sauces. That’s right, listen and learn.
To make the roux, melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and let cook, stirring every once in a while for a total of about 8 minutes or until the onions have softened. Then add the flour and stir until combined.
The trickiest part is adding the liquid because it may start clumping, which we don’t want. Well, I don’t want that. I don’t know what level of clump you prefer. The trick to a smooth process is to add the broth and water in just a little bit at a time, whisking constantly. Once the majority of the liquid is mixed in, the chance of it clumping is very slim, so pour the rest of it in without a worry in the world.
Turn the heat up and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring or whisking occasionally.
Side note: I only had available about half of the amount of broth that the recipe called for, so I made up for it by adding an extra cup of water, a pinch more of salt, and a small clove of finely diced garlic a little later. It wasn’t ideal, but a cook’s gotta improvise, right? Did you learn anything from Ratatouille?!
Now is the fun part: dump the broccoli that you previously prepared by cutting into florets and chopping/peeling the stems like I told you to into the pot. Oh, I didn’t mention that? Let’s hope your broth-y concoction doesn’t bubble and burn while you’re frantically trying to prepare the broccoli on the spot.
(This is where I added the garlic clove.) Let simmer for 20 minutes or until broccoli is close to falling apart, the way my dad was when I left for college.
At this point you can either use a hand blender, which is a much easier process than what I attempted, or you can transfer the soup to a blender to smooth it out. If using a NutriBullet or similar device like I did, be warned that the hot soup combined with the heat from the motor will make for a very fun explode-all-over-your-kitchen-and-stick-to-your-roommates-rice-cooker experience.
To avoid this, although cleaning it up is a really good time, I highly suggest using a regular blender with the cap that’s in the lid hole removed and replaced with a dish towel tightly pulled over the hole to allow the heat to escape. Whichever method you prefer, easy or hard, messy or clean, convenient or inconvenient, puree the soup until it’s at the desired consistency, preferably creamy.
Return to the pot, add cream (if desired; not necessary) and heat over medium for a minute or two more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If, like me, you’re concerned about blandness due to the lack of an adequate amount of broth, you can add a dash of nutmeg. It added the perfect flavor kick that I was looking for, so it’s worth a try even if you do have normal broth quantities.
That’s it! Now pour into a bowl, top with parmesan or your favorite cheese, and serve!
Who’s eating their vegetables now, kids?! Muahaha.
Also, I would like to offer a warm welcome to all my new subscribers! I only have one request: try to keep your cool if you see me in person. I know what it’s like to have to try to stay calm while starstruck, but now that I’m famous it’s my responsibility to keep my fans in check. Thanks, you’re all awesome!
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 lb broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
3. Whisking constantly, add broth and 1 cup water and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes.
4. Add broccoli and bring to a simmer. Cook until broccoli is very tender, 20 minutes.
5. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. In batches, fill a blender halfway with mixture and puree until smooth; to allow heat to escape, remove cap from hole in lid, cover lid with a dish towel, and hold down firmly while blending. Return soup to pot as pureed.
6. Add cream and heat over medium until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Thin with broth or water, if desired.