I’d just been carrying out a lot of experiments concerning the best way of blanching green vegetables (post to come), and I had mountains of broccoli remaining. What to do?
Broccoli soup, of course.
Rye bread makes great croutons (it’s nutty and crunchy). For a dish where they form more of a part of the main event, go to The North Wind and the Sun, rye bread salad.
I happened to have some Himalayan pink salt which I dropped onto the rye croutons at the end – the salt went very prettily with the green soup.
You could also throw in some chopped, dry fried walnuts; and if you had a stalk of celery lurking in the fridge, you could de-string, and chop, and add at the beginning with the shallot.
What do you do with any leftovers? Make it into a pasta sauce! Grind the croutons, and sprinkle them over the top. Shave over some cheese, drizzle with nut oil – walnut or hazelnut. Wonderful…
Recipe for straightforward broccoli soup with nutty rye bread croutons and nut oil
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
- 300 ml/1 ¼ cups stock – made with a chicken or a vegetable stock cube
- 60 ml/¼ cup dry vermouth
- 1 banana shallot
- 80 ml/⅓ cup single cream
- 300g/11 oz broccoli – this a generous medium-sized head – leftover already-cooked is fine
- 1 slice of rye bread to make into croutons
- Olive oil for frying
- Hazelnut oil for drizzling
- Spring onion – ideally pink – for garnish
- Generous grinds of Indonesian long pepper
- Preheat the oven to 210°C.
- In a medium saucepan, preferably not one with a non-stick surface as you will be using the stick blender, fry the shallot.
- Peel and crush the garlic, if you haven’t already, with the salt. Add to the shallot.
- Pour in the stock and vermouth.
- Add the broccoli – cook until soft – if it’s already been cooked it will be a couple of minutes, if it’s fresh it will be six-eight minutes.
- Meanwhile cut the rye bread slice up into squares. Spread out onto a silicone-lined baking tray, drizzle over a little olive oil, and put in the oven for five minutes.
- Blend the broccoli in the saucepan with your stick blender – you may need to tip the saucepan a bit to make a good amount of liquid for the blender. Of course you can make this in an ordinary blender but it’s more washing-up. If it seems a bit solid add more dry vermouth.
- Serve out.
- Grind over some black pepper.
- Snip over a few spring onions
- Drizzle over some nut oil – hazelnut or walnut
Florence Easton sings Comin’ Thro’ the Rye