Broccoli and Potato Soup

Broccoli and Potato Soup
Fresh green broccoli florets float in this hearty meatless soup, however it is really the broccoli stems that do the real work. They are cooked with the diced potatoes and then pureed to form a creamy base. A finishing touch of Parmesan cheese gives the soup a touch of Italian.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 800 g broccoli, thick stems peeled and diced (about 2 cups), tops cut into small florets (about 1 litre)
  • 700 g boiling potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes (Desiree - red or Dutch Cream - white are good choices)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1¾ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 - 3 rashers bacon, fried crisp and diced, for garnish
  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over a moderately low heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic, diced broccoli stems, potatoes, chicken stock, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are almost tender ( about 10 minutes).
  3. In a food processor or blender, blitz the soup to a coarse puree. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the broccoli florets and simmer until they are tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir ¼ cup of the grated Parmesan into the soup, and serve the soup topped with the remaining cheese and crisp fried bacon.
If you'd prefer a completely smooth soup, add the broccoli florets to the pot after the potatoes have cooked for five minutes, and continue simmering until all of the vegetables are tender, about five minutes more. Puree the soup until smooth. This would also make a good first course for six people.

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