Chilled Broccoli Soup
One of the key principles of culinary medicine is sustainability. In this respect, the objective is to secure a diet that is sustainable for the individual in terms of flavor, tastes, and textures that optimize the food experience. It must sustain both body, mind, and soul. Additionally, the ingredients used need to be produced and harvested in a way that is sustainable locally, for the larger community, and the entire planet.
It is with this in mind that we pursue the practice of a “Zero Waste Kitchen.” Such a kitchen also incorporates the principles of economy with respect to time management and resource utilization. This soup is a great example of hitting all three points.
The summers a great time to get fantastic deals on incredible produce at the farmers market when things are in season. When all the local growers are producing vast quantities of the same crop, it’s a buyer’s market. Buying beautiful fresh broccoli on the stock is a great example.
But what do we do with those stalks?
The heat of the summer is the perfect time for a chilled soup. Utilizing the stalks as the base for a cool, creamy bright broccoli soup gives us a sumptuous light refresher that we can pull out of the fridge ready to go on a moment’s notice; all the while repurposed thing bits that more often than not end up in the bin!
- 1 kg (approximately 1.1 pounds) Broccoli stalks
- 330 g (approximately 12 ounces) Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
- 50 mL (approximately ¼ cup) White Wine
- 1 sprig fresh Thyme
- 1 L (approximately 4 cups) Water
- ¼ teaspoon White Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoons Sherry Vinegar
- 50 mL (approximately ¼ cup) Heavy Cream – organic preferred
- Juice of one-half Lemon
- 25 mL (approximately 2 tablespoons) Sour Cream – organic probiotic preferred
Big pot blanch the broccoli stalks. To do this, bring a large stock pot filled with salted water to a rolling boil. Add the stalks and heat until they are easily pierced with a paring knife with minimal resistance. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the stalks, but in general it is around eight minutes. If the ends of the stalks are excessively fibrous or woody, trim those pieces off. Once the stalks have reached the desired level of tenderness, remove and place in an ice bath to rest the cooking process.
In a large saucepan or medium stockpot, heat some olive oil (enough to lightly coat the bottom of the cookware) over medium heat. Add the onions. Sweat the onions until translucent, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Do not allow the onions to brown. Add the wine and fresh thyme. Continue to cook until almost all the wine has evaporated. Add the broccoli, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, or processing in small batches in a blender, purée the mixture until smooth. Add the cream and Sherry vinegar and return to simmer for another 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice and sour cream. Allow to cool and serve slightly chilled.