I love Romanesco because of its mild cabbage flavor. This soup is lush and smooth in texture and very complex in flavor due to the added potatoes, leeks, zucchinis and Parmesan cheese. I had few pea shoots at home and added a handful of them which gave freshens to the soup and beautiful green color. They are totally optional though. —Iglika Petrova/Sprig of Thyme
medium to large Romanesco
large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
small (or 1 large) zucchinis, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
medium (any kind) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
homemade chicken or vegetable stock (low-sodium store bought works too)
Wash Romanesco and separate the florets into about 2-inch chunks. The stems can be peeled with a paring knife, removing the stringy exterior and added to the flowerets. Place all in a bowl and set aside.
In a large pot heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and add the leeks. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until soft. Add the remaining olive oil, the potatoes and the zucchinis. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the potatoes start to stick to the bottom of pot (but are not burning). At this point, add the chicken/vegetable stock, the Romanesco and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Add the pea shots, if using, and simmer for 5-10 more minutes.
With an immersion or a standard blender set on low speed blend the soup until no large chunks are present. Increase the speed and blend until really smooth and creamy. Add the butter and the Parmesan cheese and blend until smooth. Taste the soup and if you prefer it creamier, add the whole milk and blend for 10 more seconds. Taste for salt and pepper and add if needed.
Ladle soup into bowls, top with a few fresh pea shoots (if using) or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.