Food for Dentistry Part 2 – Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

Going to great lengths to follow recovery instructions carefully, I’m keeping things smooth and liquid with minimal chewing for the time being.   This soup is incredibly easy and really tasty.  Also, my appreciation for the immersion blender is at an all-time high.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 medium-sized heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 russet potato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp herbs de Provence
  • 6 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • sour cream and hard cheese for garnish

METHOD

In a dutch oven over medium heat, sauté onion and celery in olive oil and butter until soft and translucent (about ten minutes).  Add garlic and herbs de Provence and sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add broccoli, potato and stock and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook until vegetables are tender (25 – 30 minutes).

Season with salt and pepper to taste and blend with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender) until smooth.  Place soup into bowls.

Thin sour cream with milk or half and half and drizzle over soup.  Add some shaved hard cheese (parmesan, asiago, pecorino, etc.) and some cracked black pepper and serve hot.

For those who are able to chew, this soup is great with a dark bread.

Broccoli Kale Soup

Broccoli Kale Soup

Broccoli Kale Soup

Broccoli Kale Soup

As promised, here is the recipe for the broccoli kale soup that we paired with our pan bagnat.

1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 T Sherry Vinegar
1/2-1 t kosher salt
1/2 t red chili flakes
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried oregano
2 small potatoes, diced
3 stalks of broccoli, stems peeled & diced, florets broken
approx. 4 c good vegetable or chicken stock
2 bunches kale, rinsed and chopped
1 T dijon mustard
1/3 c grated parmesean cheese 

In a large pot, saute the onions, garlic and celery over medium heat in the olive oil until soft. Deglaze the pan with Sherry.  Sprinkle in the salt, chili and herbs and stir in the potatoes and broccoli. Pour in enough stock to cover all the vegetables in the pot (don’t add in too much!), put a lid on it, and let is simmer away until potatoes are tender. Add in the kale and stir in the mustard. Blend well using an immersion blender or pour soup in batches into a blender to get it very smooth. Stir in the cheese and blend well. If you find your soup is too thick, add in more stock or add in a bit of milk. Makes 4 large portions.

 

 

Spaghetti Alla Primavera

Spaghetti Alla Primavera

Spaghetti Alla Primavera

Spaghetti Alla Primavera

After reading all the delicious recipes in October’s Saveur magazine and riding our bikes to the farmers’ market this weekend, it seemed like primavera was the perfect choice the the pre-election countdown.  I made a few adjustments to try and curb the point value: half and half for heavy cream and 4 Tbsp of olive oil instead of 6 and whole wheat pasta.  I also left out the pine nuts, much to my chagrin.  Didn’t really get to a low point value on this one, but it’s filled with delicious and healthy veggies and works as a great choice if you have saved up for the day and are ready to splurge on dinner.

Weight Watchers Points Plus Value:  11

SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

4 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup asparagus tips, blanched
1 cup small broccoli florets, blanched
½ cup frozen peas, blanched
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut to 1″ lengths, blanched
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked al dente
1 cup half and half
⅔ cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp. thinly shredded basil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add ⅔ of the garlic; cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, broccoli, peas, and zucchini; cook 3 minutes. Add pasta, cream, Parmesan, and butter, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine; transfer to a platter.

2. Bring remaining oil and garlic, tomatoes, and basil to a simmer over medium heat; pour over pasta.

 

Sausage and Broccoli Stuffed Mushrooms

Sausage and Broccoli Stuffed Mushrooms

Friday’s dinner selection brought to you courtesy of a use-it-or-lose-it round of clean out the refrigerator.  Riding bikes down to the Civic Center Farmers Market on Sunday afternoons has become a favorite habit — we get to use fresh, local ingredients that are in season, and we get a little exercise in the process.  This past week, birthday celebrations and <cough> even a little nightlife interrupted our culinary intentions and left last week’s bounty wilting in the fridge.  A little emergency cleaning, chopping and baking and Sausage and Broccoli Stuffed Mushrooms were born.  I adapted Ina Garten’s Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms recipe to the ingredients we had.  Cleaning out the fridge has never tasted so good.

Sausage and Broccoli Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 3 links of spicy italian turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 6 baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
  • 2 tbsp marsala wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup pecorino cheese, grated
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Arrange mushroom caps in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and marsala wine.
  3. In a non-stick pan, bring 1/3 cup water to a boil and add finely chopped broccoli.  Cover and steam until broccoli is very tender.  Add more water as necessary.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick skillet until shimmering, add sausage and brown, breaking up with spatula.  Cook about 8 minutes until completely brown.
  5. Stir in garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add broccoli and bread crumbs and stir until all ingredients are well-mixed.  Stir in ricotta, milk and a pinch of pecorino and cook until mixture is creamy.
  6. Generously fill each mushroom cap with sausage mixture and top with remaining pecorino.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes

We served the stuffed mushrooms with a simple arugula salad tossed with diced roma tomatoes and a simple white balsamic vinaigrette.  Pairs very nicely with Zinfandel.