Broccoli Bigger Than Your Head

A is for apple. Oh wait, that was the last post, and I still can’t get enough of them, but need to move along. B is for broccoli. As in broccoli bigger than your head. Ok, my head, I can’t really speak for yours.

For the past month, give or take, the broccoli at the farmers markets has not only been abundant but HUGE. Figuring that bigger is not always better, and the fact that I am not feeding an army (actual household: me, a husband and a dog who wants no part of a fruit or veg), at the market I go for the smallest head of broccoli I can find (which is not really saying much as all the heads of broccoli seem to be in the ginormous category) to which the particular farmer I was buying from tells me, “four bucks a head, regardless of size.” Alrighty then, decision reconsidered and swap for the biggest head of broccoli I can find, which wasn’t too hard. There said head sat, on top of broccoli mountain, like he was cannibalizing his fellow heads of broccoli until he alone was the biggest (ok, just gave the broccoli a gender. not sure if heads of broccoli have a gender. does broccoli have a gender? we head bigger heads than mine to answer this…whoa, reel it in, get back on track).

See broccoli is bigger than my head (and clearly hitting the Farmers Market at 6:30am = no glam

Regardless of size, and gender of, I find myself back home with a whole heck of a lot of broccoli. Tried some raw – nice sweetness, who said the big ones wouldn’t taste as good? Roasted some – dang did that up the sweetness, new fav’ way to eat broccoli. And…doesn’t even look like I have made a dent. Well I could break it up, vacuum pack and stash in the freezer to enjoy all winter. Or send some to George Bush Sr. No probably still not over his broccoli-aversion. No, think there is but one thing to do: make soup.

A good number of recipes I scanned all seemed to adhere to a three parts liquid, two parts veg and one part dairy formula for broccoli soup.  Well, when you are working with the world’s biggest head of broccoli soup rules are gonna get tossed out the window, or into the composter. Oh, and speaking of composting, or not wanting to compost the gorgeous radish greens, that happen to be laying on the counter, figured they would go into the soup as well. They’re green? Check. They’re good for you? Check. Into the pot they went and dang, if that wasn’t pure REVELATION (seriously, was not sure how nice they were going to play with the broccoli). Not only did they add nutrients but some major depth of flavor as well – pure genius (nod to the twitter peeps for pushing me to toss the radish tops in).

leeks for flavor boost and potatoes for ‘creamy’ factor

I was really really wanting to go the cheesy/creamy route, but needing to balance out the gelato intake (damn, I can’t get away from the stuff) I used a bit of potato to get to that creamy taste and feel. What do you know, it totally worked. Objective achieved and calories saved.

I don’t think I can subject you to a picture of the soup. Trust me on this, the taste is fantastic but the look? A hot mess of baby puke (sorry, I went there). And I don’t think photo shop or the best food stylist in the world can change that.

Broccoli (mainly) Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large leek, sliced thin (no leeks? go with onions)
1-2 carrots, diced
8 cups broccoli, chopped (and that from one partially used ginormous head)
4 cups radish tops/greens, chopped
1 large potato, diced (skins and all)
salt & pepper to taste
3 quarts (if you like your soup thick*) veg or chicken broth.

Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large soup pot. Add garlic and leeks and sauté until translucent. Add carrots, continue to sauté approximately 5 minutes. Add broccoli and potato and, you guessed it, sauté some more (another five minutes). Add the radish tops and the broth. Cook down until all the veg are nice and soft.  Remove pot from the burner. Let it cool. If you have an immersion blender, no need to cool completely before pureeing the soup right in the pot. If you are using a blender or food processor, I would wait until the soup is completely cooled (to room temperature) before transferring (in batches) to blender.  Put the pureed soup back in the pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Reheat if eating immediately.
*After pureeing the soup if it is too thick, add more broth until desired consistency is reached.


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