Weeknight Cooking

Broccoli Apple Soup

by:
January 23, 2012

 

Broccoli Apple Soup

- Jenny

 

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. 

 

Broccoli Apple Soup by BlueKaleRoad

Serves 6

1 large head of broccoli
3 large apples (Golden Delicious or McIntosh are good)
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
6 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
plain yogurt to garnish (optional)

By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.

Photo by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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38 Comments

maryaskew February 4, 2012
How big is a large head of broccoli or a large apple or a large onion? <br /> <br /> I'm guessing that the broccoli would be a lb. ; the apple 6 oz. ,and the onion 8 oz.
 
delightfulcrumb February 2, 2012
This was lovely! Thanks for highlighting the recipe--your excellent storytelling convinced me this was worth a try, and indeed it was. Delicious, particularly with a dollop of greek yogurt atop!
 
webbiest January 28, 2012
sue me but I did not like this. It was like hot unsweetened applesauce with broccoli in it. Sweet but weirdly astringent. I made it with chicken stock, and Macs as suggested but I found it tasted really thin, like a low calorie recipe. Only the gobs of creme fraiche and sour cream we garnished it with made it edible. (the kids ate one bite). <br /> <br />It needs a much starchier vegetable like parsnips or potatoes to give it some body.
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 29, 2012
so sorry you didn't like it; not every recipe is for every user, for sure. i am puzzled by the thinness of the soup and wonder about the broccoli proportion. either way hope you like the next one! <br />js
 
AntoniaJames January 25, 2012
I made this last night, replacing two cups of veggie stock (at the very end) with two cups of homemade ricotta whey, from today's Wildcard winning recipe, in fact. I tasted a bit of the pureed soup before adding the whey and much preferred it with the whey. I also added some lightly salted Greek yogurt, to my mind, the yogurt is essential. I may have had particularly sweet apples (Pink Ladies and Braeburns, which are not particularly sweet when raw); I found that the yogurt helped offset the sweetness of the apples, making the broccoli more apparent. I'll post these comments on the recipe, too. ;o)
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 25, 2012
Interesting. That makes a lot of sense.
 
millefeuille January 25, 2012
This was indeed a great weeknight recipe. I added a diced stalk of celery with the onions and apples. Also simmered with a whole sprig of thyme or two. The yogurt is a great finishing touch (as was a sprinkling of fresh pecorino and parmigiano). We loved how the apple, rather than asserting itself in the final product, merely balanced out any bitterness that the broccoli could have potentially brought to the soup.
 
dottieinthekitchen January 25, 2012
This sounds SO good. Do you think it would be okay to use chicken stock instead of veggie?
 
BlueKaleRoad January 25, 2012
Yes, chicken stock would be great. I hope you enjoy it!
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 25, 2012
I actually considered using chicken stock and decided to make the veggie stock at the last minute to try the recipe as written, and as a vegetarian option. But I think chicken stock would offer heft and would be delicious.
 
STC January 24, 2012
I think this would be especially appealing to my grandchildren with the touch of sweetness of the apples to mask the goodness of the broccoli. A Must try!
 
ibr January 23, 2012
Fried the apples separately in butter and lairds apple jack brandy, before adding to the broth.
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 24, 2012
wow. and then what happened?
 
ibr January 24, 2012
It added some subtly to the taste of the apple, but even more so to the smell. The fruitiness of the brandy was particularly evident every time I leaned in to take a spoonful. I think brandy is perfect for winter, especially Laird Apple Jack. It has the smell of cider, but the warmth of brandy. It's slightly sweet, a little bit woody, and it complimented the soup quite well. I also had a small bit as an apéritif ;)
 
ibr January 23, 2012
Fried the apples separately in butter and lairds apple jack brandy, before adding to the broth.
 
drbabs January 23, 2012
Wow, love this. I'll definitely make it...must buy broccoli.
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 24, 2012
hope you like it! i should have added that this is really healthy, too, don't, you think?
 
Sagegreen January 23, 2012
Thanks for featuring Blue Kale's wonderful soup!
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 24, 2012
Sounds like you have tried it and love it too!
 
BlueKaleRoad January 23, 2012
Thank you, Jenny! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the soup (and especially happy that your husband did, too!). <br /> <br />What is it about blender/food processor soup disasters? Once I started using an immersion blender I never looked back.
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 24, 2012
It is my favorite kitchen tool outside of some spoons and spatulas that obviously get more use. But it is a wonderful thing.
 
Bevi January 23, 2012
A blender accident once a week is de riguer in my kitchen. This is such a nice recipe!
 
BlueKaleRoad January 23, 2012
Thank you, Bevi!
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 24, 2012
I hope you try it and like it
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 24, 2012
I hope you try it and like it
 
MrsWheelbarrow January 23, 2012
I will be very happy to have this for dinner. As to blender accidents, my ceiling could tell some stories...
 
Amanda H. January 23, 2012
LOL.
 
Lizthechef January 23, 2012
I'm going to buy you an immersion blender - you will never look back.
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 23, 2012
Oh I have one and love it. That is what I used with this recipe.
 
cookinginvictoria January 23, 2012
This looks divine. I am into soups in a big way this wiinter, no doubt spurred on by the real winter weather the Pacific Northwest has been experiencing lately. I really like the simplicity of this soup, and, I agree w/ ChezSuzanne, the apple is an inspired touch. So great to see BlueKaleRoad featured in your column, Jennie. Her recipes are really wonderful!
 
cookinginvictoria January 23, 2012
Oops -- where is the edit button when I need it? I meant to say "Jenny." Sorry about that!
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 23, 2012
She has a lot of fans and well deserved ones.
 
BlueKaleRoad January 23, 2012
Thank you, Paula! :)
 
TheWimpyVegetarian January 23, 2012
I will definitely try this! I love putting apples into vegetable soups - it just adds a nice brightening to the whole dish. And I love Blue Kale Road's recipes, so this one is showing up on our table this week! Thanks for highlighting this one.
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 23, 2012
i had no idea
 
BlueKaleRoad January 23, 2012
Thank you, Susan!
 
aargersi January 23, 2012
This sounds great - and I have everything in the house to make it! And I have spots of something on the ceiling too - unknown origins, probably blender related.
 
Author Comment
Jestei January 23, 2012
i really hope you like it