Meatless Monday: Broccoli and Lemon Soup

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It pays to read recipes.

Take tonight, for instance. I had skimmed this recipe by Merrill Stubbs at Food52.com for a broccoli soup. It looked like a quick dinner that I could pull together within an hour with little prep work. Apparently, my haphazard Sunday read led to my missing the very important step where I was supposed to saute the broccoli for an hour. One step for an hour.

Of course, I didn’t notice this until well after I had chopped the broccoli and started boiling water. I really have to spend more time reading the damn instructions before settling on something for dinner. So, in an effort to speed things along and cut out the hourlong saute session, I slightly overcooked the broccoli during the boil to soften it.

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The overall flavor was fine and the texture worked out okay as well, thanks to a blast from the immersion blender. You hate to deviate from the original too much, but when you are like me and busy not paying attention to things, sometimes you can’t avoid it.

WHAT WORKED: I also switched up the cheese. Stubbs called for 3/4 cup of parmesan. I had about 1/3 cup of leftover shredded gruyere in the fridge that I wanted to use up, so I added that an backfilled with the shredded parm.

WHAT DIDN’T: Me, obviously.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “Honey, this is really good.” She called me honey. Ooogah!

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: This would be a great fall or winter soup to break out when time is short.

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Broccoli and Lemon Soup
Adapted from the original by Merrill Stubbs at Food52

  • 2 lbs. broccoli, stems and leaves trimmed, and cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cups grated parmesan
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Bring a large pot or Dutch oven full of water to boil, then add the broccoli. Cook at a boil for 7 to 8 minutes, then  drain. Set aside.

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Dry the inside of your pot with paper towels and return to the burner on medium heat. Add the oil. When it shimmers, add the garlic and cook until it turns golden, about two minutes. Add the broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to toss the broccoli in the oil, coating it.

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Add the broth, increase your heat to medium-high and cover. Simmer, 5 to 7 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pan, or CAREFULLY ladle the soup into a blender to puree the broccoli and return to the pan. Stir in the cheese and lemon juice and adjust the flavors with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a baguette or homemade croutons.

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