Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12 Dinner - "Cream" of Broccoli soup with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

This evening as I was pondering over what to make for dinner, I suddenly got a major craving for a big, buttery baked potato.  So, I decided to take my favorite elements of a baked potato (potato, broccoli, and butter) and turn it into a healthy, "Good Dinner"-style soup! 

When Obe and I were vegans, I came across a wonderful tomato soup recipe in my favorite vegan cookbook, "Veganomicon," that called for pureed potato (instead of heavy cream) to add a "creamy" texture to the dish.  Although we happily enjoy meat and dairy again, we still try to keep our consumption to a minimum, and it's nice to know those little tricks in order to avoid unneccessary calories!  Make sure to use yukon gold potatoes, as they are essential to the soup's velvety texture.  We finish the soup with a little butter to add richness, but you can easily leave the butter out for a lighter meal. 

"Cream" of Broccoli soup with Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6

1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
5 small yukon gold potatoes (about 5 cups), diced
6 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock (recipe follows)
2 cups finely chopped baby broccoli (may substitute regular broccoli)
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 T butter
salt and white pepper, to taste

Brussels sprouts:
6 cups brussels sprouts, leaves removed
2 tsp olive oil
salt, to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onions and celery and saute until soft, about 7 minutes.  Add garlic and potatoes and saute for another minute, then add stock and turn heat up to high.  Cover and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and keep covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork-tender (about 20 minutes).

Meanwhile, roast brussels sprouts.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss leaves with olive oil and salt and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast until leaves are browned and a little bit crispy. 

Using an immersion blender (or a food processor, in shifts) blend the soup until completely smooth and creamy.  Add chopped broccoli and cook for another ten minutes.   Add green onions and butter just before serving and stir in until the butter is melted completely.

Top each serving with a small handful of brussels sprouts.  Serve hot.

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