As I write this, I am curled up on my couch with a nice warm blanket watching re-runs of Sex and the City, episodes I have probably seen 3,000 times. And I’m praying that Buddy does not wake up from his sleep even though I can hear the stirrings. Because what I really want to do right now is run into the kitchen and eat my third bowl of this delicious soup. Then lick that bowl clean with my finger.
This time of year makes me crave soup. I must have it. I think about it. Dream about it. I run out to Whole Foods to buy it if I can’t wait to make some myself. Then I sit in my car and eat the whole thing up in two minutes flat. Sure, my mouth is slightly burned from eating it so fast. People walking by probably think, “Who is that maniac slurping up soup in her car with a crazed look in her eye? Couldn’t she wait to get home?” But the answer is no, I could not. And I am not ashamed.
I make this soup at least five times every fall and winter. It is so good. My husband gets all happy when he sees I am making it. “Oh, I love that soup,” he will always say. It has become a tradition.
Potatoes are probably one of my favorite foods. I remember in college I would go daily to Wendy’s to buy their baked potato with sour cream and chives. Am I the only one who could not get enough of those wonderful little things? Sometimes I would go more than once a day. I was a serious potato addict back then and not a very healthy eater.
But this soup is packed with broccoli and herbs and onions — as well as delicious potato. There is only a small amount of cream. It is just enough to add that touch of creaminess that mixes so well with the potato and is balanced nicely by the broccoli. So try a batch today. Maybe you are not a crazy soup-craving madwoman like myself. But this soup still may become one of your family traditions.
Creamy Potato and Broccoli Soup
3 tablespoons butter
2 small onions (one red, one yellow; about 1 1/2 cups total)
1 celery rib (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 head broccoli (chopped; about 1 1/2 cups)
4-5 small potatoes (chopped; about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large bunch fresh herbs (chopped; about 1 cup — I used parsley and thyme)
5 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup cheese (Parmesan or something similar)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion for a few minutes until translucent. Add the celery and garlic and saute for a few minutes more. Add the herbs, potato and broccoli. Saute for a few minutes, then add the chicken broth. When the mixture returns to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer the soup for about 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. I always use an immersion blender. It is a lot easier. I also like to leave some chunks of vegetables to give the soup a nice texture. Return the soup to the pan and add the cream and cheese. Cook over low heat for a minute or two. Enjoy!