Romanesco Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese and Chives, the perfect thing for the cooler temperatures of this Fall day!
Nicoletta was always disappointed in not finding a broccoli that she really enjoyed in Italy. She would always say that if you ever tasted the “broccolo romanesco” you would know why she loved it so much.
Well, it just so happened that at the Old Strathcona Farmers market last week we were walking by one of the produce stands and much to our surprise, there it was, beautifully light green, looking more like some kind of cactus than a vegetable but very interesting in texture and shape than the usual broccoli. We did not even hesitate to buy it and figure out how to make it later.
Would it be just the classic boil and fry in a pan with garlic, or a Canadian dish of broccoli and cheese, as you know how much us Canadians love anything baked in the oven with cheese, and it was a great tactic for parents to get us kids to eat our veggies. Or how it is traditionally prepared in Rome, as Pasta e Broccoli. Now being all grown up and loving flavors of vegetables and this day and age with the evolution of cooking and organic growing, a more elaborate recipe is destined for this beautifully grown Broccoli. Looking through some awesome pictures on Foodgawker, we found a food blog, Wilde Orchard, and a velvety smooth and creamy recipe for broccoli soup. The interesting part were these nice morsels of blue cheese. I know a lot of people dislike blue cheese or Gorgonzola, the smell the taste and the look as if it was past the due date. For Nicoletta it is one of her favorites and we have made some great dishes with it like Gnocchi in a blue cheese sauce, blue cheese and radicchio pizza, both of these I would have to say were absolutely delicious, and not having been really keen on the cheese, I would have to say I am sold. I guess it is an acquired taste.
So being adventurous and for me, I love making soup, we decided the fate of this Romanesco broccoli would be in a Romanesco Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese and Chives.
Into the fridge I go to see what ingredients we have. I am thinking soup base mirepoix, classic soup base ingredients of celery, carrots, and onions. I have to confess that when these three vegetables are sauteing in that pot with olive oil, it creates such an aromatic smell and brings me back to my childhood, with trips to the downtown Edmonton city center market with my mother, buying vegetables and looking for those old chickens. My mom would always say old chicken make for great soup because they have lots of flavors. I would think to myself looking at the wrinkly skin of that chicken, and the smell of the market, would bring a summary in few words…… death and yuk! But with the culinary talents of my mother and father, and me having erased the memory of those chickens, the smell of the broth cooking would have me hungry and ready to eat. This soup does not have a chicken broth, just simple vegetable broth and mirepoix, which in my opinion tastes even better.
I would need some cream or half and half cream to create the creaminess I wanted, but did not have any in the fridge so would have to use a substitute which would be some sour cream and a potato to give it that starch it needs. I thought this would bring an interesting element to this broccoli soup. Next, some herbs of chives, green onion, and some bay leaf to just kick this soup up just another notch. All these ingredients beautifully simmered in a heavy cast pot then in the end combined and pureed to fuse all those flavors together created a romanesco broccoli soup that was out of this world good.
The smooth taste of the Romanesco broccoli and sour cream, enhanced by the holy trinity of carrots, onions and celery, danced upon with the bay leaves, chives and green onion, then elegantly flavored with just a touch of crumbled blue cheese, and awakening the artist in me with a rendition of avocado oil, I love it! As a side note some rustic Portuguese water bread, rubbed with garlic, splashed with olive oil and dusted with Parmigiano and into the oven for some color, a great accompaniment to the soup. This dish is the perfect thing for the cooler temperatures of this Fall day!
There you have it, comfort food, Romanesco Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese and Chives.
- 1 head of Romanesco broccoli
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 stalk of celery chopped
- 1/4 white spanish onion chopped
- 1 stalk of green onion chopped
- 2 sprigs of chives chopped
- 4 sprigs of chives whole (for garnish)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 5 cups of organic vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 potato
- 4 tablespoons crumble blue cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 Portuguese water bread bun (or whatever you have)
- 1 clove of garlic peeled
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 4 tablespoons grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- Wash and cut the broccoli into pieces.
- In a pot bring to boil 4 cups water and cook broccoli for 10 minutes. Set aside
- Keep the water boiling and wash and cut potato into wedges and place into water cook for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a nice cast pot drizzle in olive oil bring to medium heat then toss in onion, green onion, celery, and carrots. Cook till onion is translucent.
- Put in broccoli and potato and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Toss in chives and bay leaves, salt and pepper.
- Pour in vegetable broth. Lower heat. Cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Add in sour cream and mix well.
- Cover again and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Take off heat and with a hand held blender puree till a smooth creamy consistency is achieved.
- Crumble 1 tablespoon of blue cheese per bowl placing it gently on top of the soup so it does not submerge.
- A nice couple of chive strands for garnish and it is done.
- For the cheese bread: 1 Portuguese water bread bun cut into 1 cm slices.
- Cut garlic clove in half and rub one side of bread. Drizzle olive oil on top.
- Sprinkle parmigiano on top. Finish with some chopped parsley.
- Place in preheated oven at 400° F.
- Bake till cheese melts and starts to turn a golden brown color.
- Take out of oven and drizzle with avocado oil.
If you can’t find the Romanesco broccoli use one that you can find.
Also if you don’t have a cast pot then just use a normal one.