Thursday, September 19, 2013

Moosewood Cream of Broccoli Soup

Here's another time-honored Moosewood favorite from the Ithaca collective's  first cookbook. I added a few extra seasonings, and soy milk and pureed cashew cream stand in for their dairy analogues; based on the rapturous response to The Vegetarian Epicure's carrot soup a couple weeks ago, I also stirred in a little sherry at the end. Despite these alterations, the finished product was very like my memory of Mollie Katzen's original recipe. Although I didn't bother reserving and steaming a cup of the broccoli florets for garnish, I do urge you to include the tamari (or Bragg's) for that ineffable, countercultural something.

Cream of Broccoli Soup
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance
~ 1 medium onion, chopped
~ 2 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 green bell pepper, diced
~ 1 tsp. each: thyme, basil, dill
~ 1/2 tsp. white pepper
~ 1/4 tsp. cayenne
~ Pinch of nutmeg
~ 1 lb. broccoli, chopped
~ 2 large scallions, chopped
~ 2 bay leaves
~ 1 tbsp. tamari, or Bragg's liquid aminos
~ 3 cups vegetable broth
~ 3 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 1/2 cup cashews, soaked and drained
~ 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
~ 1/4 cup sherry (optional, but nice)

~ In a large, deep pot, melt the margarine and sauté the onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
~ Add the garlic, bell pepper, and dry seasonings; continue cooking about 5 more minutes.
~ Add the broccoli and stir to coat; cook for another few minutes and then add the scallions, bay leaves, tamari, and vegetable broth. Cover the pot and raise the heat to high; bring just to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
~ In a blender or food processor, puree the soaked, drained cashews with the nutritional yeast and about a cup of the soy milk until smooth; add this mixture to the soup pot along with the remaining soy milk. Remove the bay leaves and puree the whole business with an immersion blender (or transfer to your food processor) until creamy.
~ Continue cooking over low-medium heat another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling. In the last few minutes, add the sherry if using and cook another minute or two. Serve hot with some good crusty bread.

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