Random Bag Night – Cloudy Broccoli Soup + Tomato Crostini

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Ok, so calling it “cloudy” broccoli soup probably wasn’t the most appetizing choice but I wasn’t really sure how else to describe it. It’s much lighter than your usual cream of broccoli soup, and it lacked the green vibrancy of the vegetable itself. This is a relatively fast soup, took about 20 minutes to cook. I served it with a roasted tomato and soft cheese crostini, using the no knead bread my husband made the other day and the cottage cheese I made on Sunday. Here are the recipes:

1 onion, chopped

1 small clove of garlic, minced

3 cups chopped fresh broccoli 

2 tablespoons chopped pancetta (optional, but it adds great flavor, bacon would be good too)

1 teaspoon of butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

8 cups of chicken broth (vegetable broth is fine)

3 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt

salt & pepper to taste

Toppings: squeeze of fresh lemon, drops of flavored olive oil

In a large sauce pan, place oil, butter, onion, garlic and pancetta, and saute on medium high heat for about 5 or 6 minutes until the onions start to get soft. Stir frequently. A little caramelization on the onions is fine, it adds extra flavor. Once the onions are soft, add the broccoli and stir. Add the wine and allow it to simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Add the broth, and allow the soup to cook until the broccoli gets fork tender (about 10-15 minutes depending on how large or small you cut it).

Once the broccoli is cooked through, turn off the heat and add the yogurt. Using a stick blender (or regular blender) blend the soup until the onions and broccoli are pureed. I strained the soup through a sieve into the bowls to make it smooth (sans chunks) but that isn’t necessary if you are the kind that likes pulp. Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a few drops of flavored olive oil (I used oil that the roasted tomatoes were sitting in) and serve. You could also top with creme fraiche or some pesto for extra zing. 

as for the crostini:

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This is really really simple. Just take your favorite crusty bread and toast it, top with the soft cheese of your choice – in this case it is fresh cottage cheese – and top with roasted tomatoes (or soft sun-dried tomatoes – the kind soaked in olive oil).  Crostini are an excellent side dish for soups or a very versatile appetizer. Other toppings could be sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, olive tapenade…. etc etc. Lots of possibilities !

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