This is one of those what to cook when you’re uninspired and short on time recipes. Broccoli and milk were staples in the house when I was growing up, and while I don’t always have as much broccoli around now, it’s still something that often graces the produce drawer. Try to pick up broccoli from the farmer’s market, if you can, because different varieties vary quite a bit in flavor. Unsurprisingly, the great-for-shipping varieties sold in most grocery stores are less flavorful than others. Either way, pureeing it with milk and potato creates a lovely ultra-quick light supper with just the addition of a few crackers or a salad.
For those who may not be huge broccoli fans, cooking it in milk often downplays any bitterness, so it’s worth a try for anyone who is on the fence. I doubt a die-hard hater would convert… but you never know.
Quick Broccoli Basil Soup
1 head broccoli
1 c milk (I used 1% but whole milk would be richer)
Pinch red pepper flakes (start with less… you can always add a few drops of hot sauce if you want it spicier)
1 boiled (or microwaved) small red potato, peeled and sliced
6-8 basil leaves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino romano, to taste
Cut the florets off the stem. Slice large florets in half, and cut extra stem into small pieces. Peel stem, and chop into small pieces. Add milk and red pepper flakes to a saucepan. Place over medium heat and add the broccoli stems to the bottom, and top with the floret pieces and potato. Cover with a lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tender to soft but still bright green. Remove from heat, and use an immersion blender to puree. Add the basil, and season to taste. Garnish with the cheese and extra basil leaves, if desired.
No immersioon blender: use a standard blender, food mill, or food processor.
Jazz it up for company: Add pan-roasted garlic to the puree, and top with toasted pinenuts.