Leeks and Sherry play an integral role in the make up of this creamy and delicious broccoli soup.
Indian Summer has come and gone and Mother Nature blesses us with cool evenings and a bit of a nip in the morning air. Crisp, clean, cool air that reminds us our bodies will need to be nurtured with comforting and warm meals. And high on my comfort list of foods that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside is soup.
This creamy broccoli soup recipe comes from my personal recipes I made for my small food to go restaurant where each and every day I served up a homemade soup or two. I am really glad that I took the time to write this one down because it's really quite delicious and I think you'll enjoy it.
- 1-2 large heads of fresh broccoli - heavy stem removed
- 1 16 oz. bag of frozen broccoli
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 small bunch leeks (about 4 cups) - split down the middle, washed thoroughly and thinly sliced (Use the white part of the leek and some of the darker green as well.)
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups reserved cooking liquid from the broccoli
- 1 pint of heavy cream (or to taste)
- 2 tsp. fresh minced garlic (or use minced jar garlic if you have it)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. dry sherry
- 1/2 tsp. black or white pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
- After you have washed your broccoli and removed the heavy stem, split the broccoli up and place in a stock pot. Add enough water (about 4 cups) to come up halfway and salt the water to taste. Cook the fresh broccoli thoroughly. Drain reserving the cooking liquid in a bowl.
- In the same pot melt the butter or margarine and begin sauteing the leeks. Cook over moderately low heat for about 8-10 minutes until the leeks have softened. Add the minced garlic, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the sherry and allow that to cook down for about 5 minutes.
- Next, add in the chicken broth, the cooked broccoli and the bag of frozen broccoli along with the reserved cooking liquid and the pinch of nutmeg and black pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 30 - 40 minutes.
- At the end of that time ladle some of the soup into a blender to puree the soup to the consistency you desire. Put the pureed mixture back in the sauce pot. Or, use a hand held blender and puree right in the pot. At this point check for flavor and re-season.
- Cook uncovered for 10 minutes more.
- While the soup is at a slow simmer add in the heavy cream - the whole pint or to your liking. Keep stirring during that time. When the cream has had its' chance to get warm, the soup is ready to serve.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes
Yield: approximately 3 quarts
You can make this soup a day in advance if you are planning a dinner party.
The sherry is an integral part of this recipe. The dry sherry I picked up at the liquor store cost me $6.99. It's fabulous for cooking and I highly recommend purchasing a bottle to have in your pantry. And just that hint of sherry is worth it. If you can't get the sherry, a dry and somewhat fruity white wine would also work in this recipe.
If you are hosting a dinner party and want soup to be a starter course a nice idea is to serve in tea cups. Using your china ware makes for a nice presentation and gives your guests a taste of what's to come.