Dinner Tonight: Broccoli, Lemon & Parmesan Soup + Herb Jam

Tonight's dinner features a savory herb jam from the ever-brilliant Paula Wolfert, a soothing broccoli soup, and plenty of crusty bread to sop it all up. Flavorful, comforting, and healthy -- what more can we ask of our supper?

The Menu

Broccoli, Lemon and Parmesan Soup by merrill

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
1 lemon
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.

Save and print this recipe at Food52.

Paula Wolfert's Herb Jam with Olives and Lemon

Get the recipe for Paula Wolfert's Herb Jam with Olives and Lemon on Food52.

The Grocery List

Serves 4, with leftovers

Broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
Chicken stock
Spinach (or other greens)
Flatleaf parsley
Celery leaves
Cilantro leaves
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.

The Plan

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