Keith's Too Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup
(This recipe requires a large, heat-proof blender. Mine is a Braun. Do not use a hand or wand blender. Therefore, it does not scale; that is, you cannot double the recipe. You must make multiple batches.)
1/2 medium onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 t salt
1 small carrot, cut into thumb-width pieces (or 1/2 large carrot, cut into thumb-width pieces)
1 rib celery, cut into thumb-width pieces
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 jalapeno pepper*
In a 3-quart pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion, salt, carrot, and celery. (For more flavor, caramelize the onion before you add the carrot and celery.) Last, add the garlic (mashed on the cutting board with the flat of your chef's knife) and the jalapeno. You don't want the garlic to burn (trust me; you really don't want the garlic to burn), so cook it for not more than 1 minute. Then add
2 C water
1 crown broccoli, quartered
I trim, peel, and cut the broccoli stem and add it, too.
Cook covered on low heat. How long? Oh, an hour, maybe two. Who cares. You cannot overcook this. As long as there is water in the pot, everything will be fine. When you can poke a blunt chopstick into any piece of vegetable, the veggies are ready for the next step.
Spoon the veggies and liquid into a large blender. Grind some fresh black pepper into the blender. Put the cover on the blender and cover the top of the blender with a tea towel. First, blend at low speed; increase the blender speed to its highest setting. While the blender is running at its highest speed, pour in
1/2 C cream.
You will be tempted to substitute milk or some other dairy product or (gag) soy milk. Don't. The cream will capture air and add volume and lightness to the soup.
Serves four . . . or me. (I like this soup a lot.)
*If heat is not your thing, you can leave out the jalapeno. Or you can seed the jalapeno and caramelize the hulls for a surprising smoky flavor.)