I always enjoy going to a produce market as in most instances there is a variety of vegetables you do not normally see in the grocery store and there are typically a lot of very great prices. And in times like this, I get a tad overzealous and have more than I know what to do with so I start to try different combinations and types of meals and thus I came across an interesting soup combination: Cream of Broccoflower and Asparagus with sweet onion and lemongrass- topped with mild cheddar and sauteed broccolini.
You can choose any stock you want as a base, but since yesterday I had made 5 quarts of fresh chicken stock, I went with that. I started off by pouring in a little olive oil and sauteed the sweet onion along with the lemongrass. I diced up the broccoflower and asparagus into smaller pieces and added them to this mix.
I let that cook for a few minutes and then added in 5 cups of stock and 5 cups of warm water and brought to a simmer. I then put the lid on the stock pot and let it cook for an hour or so.
At this point, I proceeded to add in 1 and half cups heavy cream and put the lid back on again. In a separate pan I sauteed some broccolini which I would later on put as sort of an edible garnish on the soup along with the cheddar.
At the two hour mark, I took out my immersion blender and blended the whole thing right in the stock pot (saves time and effort of transferring to a blender/mixer etc. and doing it that way. I then poured the soup into the bowl tossed in the broccolini and some shredded cheddar.
Well we had a nice few days of weather in the 50’s and 60’s (the snow all melted as well) and now we are at a point where its going back down into the 20’s and it seems like it will be quite cold for a while. It seems appropriate to go with some soup.
This first soup is a nice homemade chicken soup. The stock started off with a few quarts of water, lots of chicken bones with meat (used around 6 lbs.) and brought that duo to a nice simmer. Added in various vegetables later on in the process (carrots, celery, onion, garlic) and let it go for another 2 hours after that. With about an hour left I put in a satchet of various spices. Throughout the process I used a skimmer to remove the fat layer on top which in the end makes a nice clear stock. Overall, this amounted to about 5 quarts total, which has been used for this soup, another soup (later on in the post), other various dishes, and some is frozen for future usage. The nice thing is versus stocks/broths that you buy, for all the flavor in this there is no added salt- all the flavors of the chicken, vegetables, and aromatic spices.
To continue the soup, I started off with the stock, added some water and heated up. I tossed in some onion and garlic early on, had sauteed the chicken separately, cut into small pieces and tossed in. Around this time I added the vegetables (all cut and tossed in raw except the potatoes which I roasted first) and let the mix go for about 2 hours. With about an hour left I threw in pasta I cooked and drained separately and in the end a nice chicken noodle soup.
If you have eaten at The Olive Garden and have tried their Zupppa Toscana soup, this is reminiscent of that with some tweaks for personal tastes/preference. Starting off with stock and water, I diced up and tossed in both red and white potatoes. I let it simmer until they got soft and proceeded to mash them but only to the point where they were more or less small pieces not like a creamy mashed. I separately cooked sausage in a pan with some garlic and pepper and tossed into the stock pot. I proceeded to saute chanterelles, spinach leaves and collard greens in some olive oil and spices and tossed them into the mix. I then proceeded to boil some wild rice and tossed into the mix. With about an hour or so left, I added in some aromatic spices, shredded in some parmesan and skimmed the top before serving to make a nice clear broth.