Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Broccoli & Apple Soup

Every Sunday I make a big batch of soup and portion it in the freezer for my lunches for the week.  I love soup since you can fit so many fruits & veggies into them, they fill you up, and they are warm and comforting.  You can imagine how excited I was when I found The Soup Chick website.  This site houses a collection of the best soups and stews found on the web - fantastic!  I have been copying out recipes daily and tweaking them to my liking; I can't wait to try them all.  For this one, the apple lends a slight sweetness to the soup but isn't overpowering, so don't be turned off by the ingredients.  I have the original recipe below, as well as I what I did to change it.  Enjoy!

Broccoli & Apple Soup
1 T butter (I left this out)
1 onion chopped (I did 2 red onions, it's all I had on hand)
2 apples chopped (I used Royal Gala)
1 medium bunch of broccoli, ends of stems removed & remainder chopped (I used 4 small bunches)
1 quart chicken or veg stock (I used homemade stock...see notes below)
zest of 1 lemon (I left this out but I bet it would have been fantastic)
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
sliced almonds (I left these out)
I also added chipotle powder, onion powder, garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne.  I like heat, and the chipotle powder gave it a great smoky flavor

Heat oil and butter over medium heat & add onion.  Cook 1-2 minutes.  Stir in apples and broccoli and cook 1 minute.  Add stock and bring to boil.  Lower heat and simmer 20 minutes (I didn't lower the heat because I had used so much broccoli and wanted to be sure they got very soft).  Stir in zest, salt & pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside 5 minutes.  Toast almonds in a dry pan.  Puree soup with immersion blender and top with almonds to serve.

For the BEST stocks EVER.....
Call me crazy but I'm a pretty frugal person and I love love love finding ways to save in the kitchen.  I always have homemade stock in the freezer and you can too, by using your scraps!  Every time I cut or peel a fruit or veggie, I throw the scraps in an accumulating large ziploc bag and keep it in the freezer.  The same thing goes for meat bones & carcasses.  When the bag gets full, I throw it all into a soup pot, peels and all, and boil it for about an hour.  I than strain it off, and voila!  What's left is a nutrient-dense homemade stock made from everything you would have thrown out anyways.  I use the stock to boil my cauliflower for my infamous mashed cauliflower, I used it to saute veggies, to flavor rice can use it in so many places to sub in for fat when cooking, the possibilities are endless!  I usually keep my bones/meat scraps separate from veggies in case I want to make a strictly vegetarian stock, but feel free to mix them up in your own home.  You will never waste your money buying pre-made, sodium-filled stock again, promise!