Broccoli Soup

MARTHA PEARL VILLAS – MY MOTHER’S SOUTHERN KITCHEN by JAMES VILLAS

1 large head of broccoli
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium-size onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium-sized potato, pelled and diced
3 cups of chicken stock, vegetable stock or just water
1 cups whole milk
salt and black pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste

Cut the florets from the broccoli and place in a sauce pan with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to moderate, cover, and steam the florets till tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Trim, peel and cut the stalks into dice. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter, then add the onion, garlic, and diced stalks, and cook slowly over low heat about 10 minutes. Add the diced potato and stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer till the stalks and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Add the milk, salt, pepper, and Tabasco, stir, and simmer 5 minutes longer.

Transfer in batches to a blender, and reduce to a smooth puree. Return to the saucepan, add the reserved florets, heat thoroughly, check the seasoning, and serve.

Braised Broccoli with Lemony Tahini Sauce

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large head (about 1 1/2 pounds) broccoli (or cauliflower), cut into florets

1/2 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup tahini

Salt and black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped, for garnish if desired

 

Directions:

1. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli florets and cook, stirring occaisionally, until they begin to brown and get tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the florets with a slotted spoon or tongs.

2. Lower the heat to medium. Add the reminaing 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until they soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice, tahini, a good sprinkling of salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup water. Stir until a relativley smooth sauce forms and begins to bubble and thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the broccoli to the pan, stir to coat, and cook, stirring occaisionally, until the broccoli is fully tender, 20 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature, garnished if desired.

 

Variation:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the broccoli in a roasting pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, springkle with salt and pepper, and toss. Roast, stirring occaisionally, until the broccoli is tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon oil in a medium skilled. Cok the onion and garlic and make the tahini sauce as described in Step 2. Drizzle the tahini sauce over the roasted broccoli and garnish if desired.