When I was a little girl my dad, who was a baker, opened up a restaurant. The first idea for the restaurant was for it to be a soup and bread establishment. And since they already excelled at the bread part, all he needed was a wonderful soup chef, whom he found! He was Greek, and used to sneak quarters and fifty-cent pieces into my pockets when I wasn't looking.
My mom hates to cook, so I was raised on soup.
(And bread of course!)
Eventually, with my father's creative whims, the small restaurant grew until we took over an entire city block and were serving some of the first cappuccinos in LA. Plus there was the gift shop, the wine shop, the pastries, the cake and the cheese shop. There was an outdoor cafe, and an upstairs Basque dining hall. I started working there when I was 12, and my last day was a few days before my wedding when I was 23.
Thankfully, despite all the changes, there was always soup.
My biggest regret, when the Pioneer Boulangerie closed its doors, was that I didn't corner the chef and drag every soup recipe he made out of him...
Over the years I have fiddled, and this lovely broccoli soup approximates the cream soups we once served. Cream of Broccoli, Cream of Asparagus--of cauliflower, and of celery. All. So. Good. You can make these soups without the cream, and you can easily interchange the broccoli with the veggies I've mentioned above. Maybe you have another variation you can share with me here?
Cream of Broccoli Soup
Place broccoli, potatoes, leeks, onion and salt in a soup pot. Fill with water (or stock or a mix of the two) until everything is just barely covered. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Puree until smooth (I use an immersion blender. You can also put the soup in a conventional blender. Or use a hand masher; it will be chunkier).
Add the desired amount of cream. Add pepper. Adjust salt, if necessary.
Enjoy! If you've never made a soup, now's your time. Buy an artisan loaf of bread, pair the two together, and you are living the dream, folks! My dream, at least...
Published: February 27, 2015 | Filed under: Home