We’re deep in soup weather, friends. I see you all out there rocking your mushroom barleys and your tomato bisques. But let me get you to add Broccoli Apple Soup to your winter repertoire.
I am just going to tell you with a slightly sad look on my face that there were skeptics out there in the world about the potential pleasures of broccoli and apples together. I am not going to name any names, but one of them seems to believe that all her Le Creuset pots need to be a uniform color. That’s all I’ll say about that.
I sort of understand. It’s not such an orthodox fruit and vegetable marriage. The key to this is the aggressive use of your immersion blender, to get a nice smooth texture and proper flavor meld, and a delicious weeknight dinner will be at the ready.
I began by quickly whipping up Easy Everyday Vegetable Stock, which really takes less than an hour, including chopping, because unlike with protein stocks, you do not want a lengthy cook. You can use commercial veggie stock, no problem, but as I tell my 12-year-old about wearing a camisole under that shirt, “It will be better if you do it my way!”
Next, you’re cutting up your broccoli, finding it hard to believe that you are going to cook the stalks. You are. It’s fine. Cut your apples and onion too. Once those hit the pan together in that butter, it will smell vaguely interesting, but not something that you will immediately recognize as fabulous.
Next come the broccoli stalks. You’re still in the weird stage. But once you add that broth and that gets to simmering, your kitchen windows will start to fog and a warm scent will float around you.
You add the broccoli florets last, and BlueKaleRoad suggests you cook them for five more minutes, but I say three.
Here comes your blender. You will be tempted to take it easy, giving the arm a rest and thus leaving a chunk of broccoli here or there, but I really must tell you to take your time, get this whole thing really smooth. I put on a Carrie Underwood album while I blended. You can do whatever you want. All I know is at the end of the process you will have this incredibly hearty, warm dish with this wonderful sweet undertone, kind of like silk stockings under your Hunter boots. My husband, a known soup hater, could not wait to dip more crusty bread into this soup.
Oh PS I guess you can puree it in your food processor if you’d like. But in my house, that just means soup all over the counter, and in one unfortunate case involving chicken stock, the ceiling.
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.
Photo by James Ransom