Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creamy Broccoli ???

I came across this recipe called Creamy Broccoli Soup in the February 2011 issue of Real Simple. And even though the idea of broccoli soup makes me make the eeewwww face, I thought it sounded healthy and it didn't seem too involved.

It was definitely easy to make and fit almost perfectly into a weeknight schedule as I was able to squeeze in a short workout during the hands-off cooking time. I hesitate, though, to call it a soup. I didn't care for it thin like a soup; it wasn't creamy enough. I kept it thick instead, though it's not exactly stew-like either since it's all pureed. It reminded me of Cream of Wheat or Malt-to-Meal in consistency.

Basically, it's green mush. But it's tasty green mush!

Sam I Am. Paging Mr. Sam I Am. Your green mush is ready.
Creamy Broccoli Soup ?

Creamy Broccoli ??
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, roughly chopped
    ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
    2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    1 bunch broccoli, florets roughly chopped, stems peeled and chopped (about 7 cups)
    1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½" pieces
    ½ tsp salt
    ¼ black pepper
    2 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese and croutons for topping each serving

  1. Heat oil in a large pot (I used my stock pot, you'll see why in a minute) over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the broth, broccoli, potato, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ black pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables in the pot until smooth, adjusting the consistency with water as needed (this is why I used the stock pot, alternately, you could use a blender, working in small batches).

Scoob was a little dubious during the grocery shopping when I told him what I was planning to make, but he's a good man and eats just about anything I put in front of him. Even my disasters. But he did say this smelled good once it got going in the pot and was looking forward to dinner.

The original recipe called for 2 cups of water during the second step, but I'm pretty sure I didn't use it. Although, now I can't quite recall. I do remember thinking that there didn't seem to be enough liquid, but it turned out fine.

The recipe also called for sharp white cheddar cheese and bagel chips for topping. I remembered the part about sharp, but not the part about white, while I was at the grocery store, hence to orange-yellow cheese you see in the photo. I toasted up a couple slices from a baguette loaf instead of the bagel chips.

And even though the recipe says the red pepper flakes are optional, I think it would have been way too bland without them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blinded by the Light

Let me preface this post by saying I feel appropriately guilty that a large portion of the US is suffering through some of the coldest, snowiest weather they've seen in years (I mean hells bells people, it snowed in Austin, TX for crying out loud) while I spent the weekend blissfully warm and frolicking in sunshine. The weather is clearly part of the magnetic pull the Bay Area has on people.

We had the doors and windows open here yesterday and today and the weather was stinking gorgeous! And today was downright shorts and tank top weather. I kid you not. Brace yourselves—it was 78° here today. It is February. Right?

When did Spring get here?
Cherry blossoms at twilight.

Obviously, I wasn't the only one thinking shorts were called for today. Scoob and I were practically blinded at the sight of so many winter-white legs on display today.

But not mine. No sirree. You see, I remembered that it is indeed February, which means it's winter and I haven't shaved my legs since sometime in October. Probably. Maybe September. Could be August. In any case, I don't even know if I've got a new razor around to do the job, so my legs remain hairy and safely under wraps.

Though, if we'd been running errands in Berkeley today, I might have been tempted to join the hippy chicks with some braiding. You know, come to think of it, a layer of hair would probably mitigate the glare from my pale legs.

I could just call it a safety precaution. I didn't shave my legs because I didn't want to sear your retinas and make you see my legs every time you close your eyes. See, it's a public service. The sacrifices I make.