Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
1/4 cup olive oil
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Crusty bread for serving
1. Bring a large, heavy pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and boil for five minutes. Drain the broccoli well and set aside.
2. Add the olive oil and garlic to the pot over medium heat. After a minute or two, when the garlic starts to soften and turn golden, add the broccoli, season with salt and pepper, and stir well.
3. Cover the pot, turn the heat down as low as it will go, and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is soft enough that it yields when you press it with the back of a wooden spoon (it may brown a little during this process -- this is a good thing).
4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes.
5. Carefully puree half the soup in a blender or food processor, using a kitchen towel to hold the lid on tight. Stir the puree back into the pot. Stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot with plenty of crusty bread.
Serves 4, with leftovers
Broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
Spinach (or other greens)
Oil-cured black olives
We bet you've got olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, lemons, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and Parmesan hanging around your kitchen. If not, hop to it! You'll be needing those, too.
1. The soup base needs to simmer for about an hour, so begin there by getting a pot of water boiling to blanch the broccoli.
2. Warm the oil and garlic, and then add the blanched broccoli. Let it cook, covered, for about an hour.
3. As the broccoli cooks, get started on the herb jam. It should take about 20 minutes. Set it aside to hold at room temperature.
4. Finish the soup (add the stock, heat, blend, and then cheese and lemon it up). Serve with the herb jam, plus crackers or nice, crusty bread, and a glass of wine -- maybe something zingy, white, and refreshing to complement all that lemon.
First photo by James Ransom; second photo by Linda Xiao