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Magic in Nature

Soup for a Winter Day

debaccuardi

I have been extremely busy the last couple weeks dispatching the 12 roosters born here in the late fall. It's an unfortunate situation, but they don't go to waste. I have been processing three at a time to make some wonderful broth. I have been making some very pretty dishes lately, but with all that broth today I wanted to share this tasty soup IMG_2371. I decided we didn't need to see this in large format as it just isn't that beautiful. But the flavor! This is a simple broccoli soup utilizing last summer's crop of broccoli tops. It's funny--we used to eat so much steamed or sautéed broccoli. We just don't anymore (greens of every sort have replaced that quick fix veg). Broccoli is a vegetable that freezes very well. I cut the main head when a perfect size (we each have our perfect sizes right?) and continue to harvest side shoots throughout the summer (I lay them out on a cookie sheet to freeze. Putting them in ziplock bags after frozen). I learned the first summer I planted broccoli that a few plants can go a long way. I planted two six packs (hence finding out how well it freezes). I now plant one six pack and still get plenty to freeze. I used rooster broth for the base here, but there is no reason to make this a meat broth based soup. If you make your own yogurt or goat cheese you should have wonderful whey on hand. The protein from the whey goes towards making this a complete meal. I always freeze my whey after cheese making in single cup amounts so that I can easily pull it out and add it to soup as needed. I added it here both for the extra protein and I love the tangy flavor with the broccoli. I also make a Chinese veg broth(full of jujube and goji berries for good health) that would be very good in this if I were going to make a vegetarian version. I always add onion and garlic to this soup (cause, why not!), a couple of small potatoes to thicken it up and that is it. I should say salt and pepper go without saying. I let it all simmer until the veg is soft enough for a puree. I take my wand to it and buzz it to a point where it is almost smooth but not quite. If I were adding cream I would take it all the way for a beautiful smooth soup, but I like it to have a little character. To finish off I add a drizzle of Rosemary oil (olive oil I infused with branches at the end of October) and a pinch of herb salt (gray sea salt blended with rosemary and sage). It may not win a beauty pageant, but all the ingredients are on hand from freezer and pantry. That to me is a successful winter meal.