Monday, August 02, 2010

Simple Broccoli Soup with Smoked Paprika

When I say "simple" in this recipe title, I mean two things: easy and "pure and simple." I made it twice in a three-week span because it takes so little effort for a huge batch, and because it's the kind of health-giving, detoxifying food that makes you feel good. It's a nice way to balance out a restaurant meal or a big grilled steak.

If you have no need of its detoxifying properties, the soup goes perfectly with richer main dishes like quiche or savory tarts--It's is more substantial than just a side of steamed broccoli. I have enjoyed it both ways!

You can do anything to jazz it up with spices and herbs. Pureed like this, the broccoli is pleasantly bland, so you need adequate salt, as well as those flavor enhancers. It's great with yogurt or sour cream stirred in, and in the picture, it's served with Parmigiano-Reggiano and more smoked paprika (By the way, I can't live without McCormick smoked paprika lately. I love to use a ton of it to make tuna or salmon salad sandwiches--it is so smoky!). I think an Indian-spiced version would be delicious, and I might also try half-broccoli, half-cauliflower. Tell me, do you need a detox? Or is this way too healthy?

Simple Broccoli Soup with Smoked Paprika
The spice quantities are estimates, so please adjust to your own taste.

Makes 7 to 8 cups

1 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder
cayenne pepper to taste
4 to 5 cups water
2 lbs frozen broccoli florets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Serving ideas: Greek yogurt, sour cream, grated cheese, scallions, pepper flakes, hot sauce, smoked paprika

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft and lightly browned. Add ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring often. Add spices and continue cooking 1 minute. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil.

Add broccoli, cover and simmer until very tender, about 10 minutes (If broccoli is too crowded, add additional cup water). Remove from heat. Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender (a regular blender yields a smoother soup; instead of using the blender lid, cover with a kitchen towel, so steam can escape, and be careful when blending hot liquid; return to pot after blending). If soup is too thick, add additional water. Add salt (I used about 1 tsp) and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


Ande (Morris) said...

Oh double yum! Ginger in broccoli soup ... talk about taking it up a notch. Thank you!

Daniel said...

I can't get enough of recipes like these that are healthy, simple and inexpensive. And it's the kind of recipe that we'd make in huge batches too.

After all, it's only a tiny bit more work to make a double batch of an easy soup, and yet you get twice as much food. Love it. Thank you for sharing Julie!

Casual Kitchen

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post here, but I don't have outlook... Help, please. I am a farmer of very fine french chickens, fattened on whole grains and fresh raw buttermilk, much like the bresse chicken. It's mostly a hobby because I moved back to my southern hometown after having a fabulous career of travel on expense account, and miss good food.
Yes, I love food but cannot cook. So I do some high-done meats and then find a chef. My favoite french master chef in town is not open on sundays, so I found another well reviewed restaurant that is open on sundays in an artsy district of town, and will cook and serve my chickens on sunday nights. Upper end bistro, classically trained chef speciallizing in south carolina coastal tastes.
It's an uppper end bistro type place in with a nice, few jeans kind of place. Anyway, what I want are 3 recipes you would use if someone were to come give you some exudiative 2 lb chickens to roast whole for Sunday dinner. This guy is hit and miss on my total satisfaction, so I'd like to present him with the tastes I want instead of an unsatisfying suprise...
Sorry to ramble, but more succintly the help I need is this:
I need 3 "flavorful" recipes that you would use to roast a 2lb chicken that will serve 2 for $25, and then say, "Damn, honey, that was delicious. I'm so glad we got up and out of the house tonight!"

Julie said...

Commenter with chickens: How about trying a google search (the food blog search box in my sidebar is a good start)? Or one of the countless recipe sources online like epicurious.

Anonymous said...

I just happened upon your blog. Love all the great recipes, so now I'm your newest follower.

Katie said...

Oh this looks fantastic, thank you! I will have to try this. :)

teresa said...

I LOVED this. Really surprised, too. Fantastic flavors. I did double up on the garlic and the ginger, but that's just my preference.