For most pureed soups, I like a super-smooth texture so I puree them in a blender and sometimes even strain them. For this soup, I prefer a more rustic texture so I opt for my hand blender and don’t process it for very long.
- If you don’t have a hand blender, you can puree the soup in batches in a blender. If you go this route, take care not to fill your blender jar more than ⅔ full, otherwise the steam from the hot soup can blow the lid off your blender. Getting burned by hot soup is no fun--trust me on this one.
Cut the florets off the broccoli stalks and set aside. Trim any brown spots off the stalks, halve lengthwise if thick and slice ¼-inch thick.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, broccoli stems and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the broccoli stems are just starting to become tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and 3 cups of the stock. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup is hot and the florets are just tender, about 5 minutes more. The goal is to keep the soup bright green and for the broccoli to keep some of its texture, so take care not to overcook it.
Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the pesto, cream and cream cheese. Puree with a hand blender until there are no large chunks of broccoli or leek. Add a little more stock if you’d like your soup a bit thinner. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Spoon hot soup into serving bowls and top with a fried or poached egg (if using). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chile. Serve immediately.
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Thin with a little olive oil if desired. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to taste.