Late November: here we go. It’s the first step onto the carousel of holiday shopping, holiday parties, and (in our house at least) eating whatever’s in the freezer to make room for holiday baking. (This is no casual business – not only do we need to have room for all the cookies required by the annual cookie-decorating party, but Dave and Lianne are having a cookie decorating competition and he’s determined to win. Freezer space must be made.) And while I like being busy, I also appreciate things that make me slow down, like tea, Skype dates with out-of-town friends, and this curried broccoli soup.
I grew up with a variation on this recipe, though it’s hard to say exactly what that was since I lost the recipe card years ago when I took it grocery shopping with me and ended up leaving it in the grocery basket. No harm done – this soup takes well to adaptation. Simple in ingredients and preparation, it’s thick and full of goodness. Try it with dark toast, grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, or a generous topping of grated cheddar cheese. Even a late November schedule will have to take a pause for that.
Note: I know, the Parmesan cheese rind in the soup is a little strange. But with Parmesan cheese as expensive as it is, it’s a shame to waste any of it, and that rind is packed with flavour. As it simmers with the vegetables, it imbues the soup with an stellar smoke-salty undertone, which is pretty awesome from something that I always used to throw away. While I wouldn’t buy Parmesan cheese just for the rind (and this soup tastes just fine without it), consider saving the rinds of your current and future Parmesan cheese purchases. Wrap them in plastic wrap, stick them in the fridge, and add them to any simmering soup.
Curried Broccoli Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder (or more to taste)
2 heads of broccoli, stems & florets chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
1 Parmesan rind (optional)
3-4 cups stock or water
1/2-1 cup milk or soymilk
salt & pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add curry powder and let cook another minute or two, with the same occasional stir.
2. Add the chopped broccoli, potato, and Parmesan rind, and cover all with stock or water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow it to cook until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove and discard Parmesan rind, and puree the soup. Pour in milk or soymilk, and reheat the soup gently until it is the desired temperature. Add salt & pepper to taste, and serve.