Since my slightly winter-intoxicated post two weeks ago, we’ve gone through a screeching 180° turn temperature-wise. From -15°C to +15°C within a week. Now that my system has somewhat acclimatized to the sudden change, I have to admit, I don’t really trust those innocently sparkling powder blue skies out there just yet – not enough to give in to the budding urge to completely ditch the wintery cuisine for something more fresh, zingy and potentially outdoorsy in any case~
Today’s dish is, at least in my book, a great compromise for (weather) situations like these – a comforting and creamy soup with a serious dose of Sunshine inside, just waiting to lift your spirits up a notch! Just on a side note: this one’s also great and insanely refreshing chilled through and popped on the dinner table with a glass of equally chilled white wine when Summer is on a roll outside~! Here’s what you need for 4 servings:
The Lemony Broccoli and Cashew Soup
700-800g 2 Heads of Broccoli, fleurets only – unless you can get yor hands on long stemmed baby broccoli. In that case, simply remove the leaves along the stems and.. oh yeah! Send me a bunch, that stuff is depressingly rare over here!
Shortcut: 800g Organic Frozen Blanched Broccoli Fleurets
2 Large Shallots, finely diced
1 Clove of Garlic, finely diced
1 Lemon, Juice and Zest
1 Salt Lemon, skin only, diced
1 Tbsp Butter
800ml of a very hearty, herby Vegetable Stock for a 100% Veggie Version
Alt: 800ml Homemade Chicken Stock
1 Kaffir Lime Leaf
100g Roasted and salted Cashews
4 Tbsp of Salted and Toasted Cashews on top of that, roughly chopped – one Tbsp to top off each bowl~
3-4 Leafy Sprigs of Thyme, leaves picked
Alt: 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1 Tsp Dried Marjory
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp Herbed Sea Salt
Sea Salt and freshly cracked Pepper to taste
1) Place a pot large enough to comfortably accommodate all of the ingredients on medium-high heat.
2) Add the butter and, once it’s melted, the diced shallots, garlic and lime leaf.
3) Sauté the lot until the shallots turn translucent, then add the broccoli, lemon zest and the diced salt lemon.
4) Close the lid and allow the broccoli to get up to speed temperature-wise – 3-4 mins should be enough.
5) Pour in the stock of your choice and sprinkle the lot with the fresh and dried herbs and a generous dose of seasoning.
6) Close the lid again and allow everything to simmer away for 5-10 mins until the broccoli bits are tender – this, of course, takes next to no time if you’ve used frozen/blanched broccoli to begin with, so make sure to plan accordingly~
7) At some point, have a quick test-bite of a broccoli with edible-deco in mind – you’re looking for a deliciously biteable al-dente state of veg~
8) Remove 4 fleurets matching that description from the pot and douse them with ice cold water to stop the cooking process and retain their pretty color until the soup is ready to be served.
9) Hunt down and discard the lime leaf, then add the 100g-batch of cashews and transfer the proto-soup into your blender. You can use a stick blender as well, but you might have a hard time blitzing the cashews into smooth creaminess.
10) Speaking of – whizz the soup until it’s silky-smooth. If the occasional stray grain of cashew really bothers you, you could even strain the soup through a sieve on it’s way back into the pot.
11) Have a taste and adjust the seasoning/texture with lemon juice, salt and pepper if necessary.
12) Ladle the soup into four warm bowls and top each serving off with a pretty piece of broccoli and a tbsp of cashews. And maybe a tiny sprinkle of chili flakes… but that may just be a personal tick of mine~