BROCCOLI PARMESAN AND FETA SOUP

Aug 7th

Soup! That magical stuff that happens when you throw a whole lot of ingredients into one large saucepan and let it bubble away for a while. Soup….that warming mug of magic that steams up your glasses when you take a sip and puts some sunshine back into a cold blustery wet winters day. Soup….that sustaining love meal that fills up hungry bellies of homeless people all over the world. I love soup, fortunate that….seeing as I have been pretty much living on it for the past 6 weeks, and fortunate too that some bitterly cold weather has decided to make an appearance! I have made soup in so many flavours lately….butternut and orange, creamy roasted tomato and basil, leek and potato, biltong and white bean (tooooo yummy!!! Will post that one too soon), veggie, pea and ham, bean and smoked bacon….the list is endless. And then there is my very favourite….Broccoli, Parmesan and Feta Soup which I am choosing to share with you here today. This soup is quite forgiving and the last lot that I made a couple of days ago I also added a little pack of small zucchini that was sitting in the crisper in my fridge waiting patiently for me to do something with.  Some members of my family don’t really enjoy soup as much as I do….my hubby eats some of it with decidedly looooong teeth, especially the vegetable soup with lentils and dried beans, barley etc in it :) I also have a sister in law who calls that missile soup…or is it bullet soup now???? I think I inherited my love for the beautiful stuff from my mom who thought a bowl of soup a meal fit for a queen!! But I have to say…..after 6 weeks of a liquid diet I am starting to feel the strong desire for a beautiful piece of medium to rare barbecued steak…*sigh* I guess the day will come eventually! The plus side to this enforced way of eating is that I have shrunk ever so slightly….I guess that, if I didnt include the jelly and custard every night, I would shrink a bit more…LOL! So here then is my version of broccoli soup….I’m sure you will keep coming back for more…it also freezes well (without the feta) and I have little ziploc baggies with single portions in one whole section of my freezer!!

BROCCOLI PARMESAN AND FETA SOUP

Serves 4 as a main meal or 6 as starters

Ingredients:

50g Butter

30ml Olive Oil

750g Broccoli – rinsed then broken into florets (use the stems too)

2 Medium Onions – roughly chopped

2 Granny Smith Apples – peeled, cored and chopped

3 Garlic cloves – finely sliced

Few sprigs of Thyme – leaves only

1 ½  liters Boiling Water

30ml NoMU Chicken Fond (use veg stock for a vegetarian option)

500ml  Milk

60ml Dry Sherry (optional)

5ml Freshly grated Nutmeg 

Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

20g Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Garnish:

200 g Feta Cheese – crumbled

Croutons

Finely chopped fresh Parsley

Method:

1. Melt butter and oil together in large deep heavy bottomed saucepan

2. Saute the onion and thyme gently until glazed and transparent

3. Stir in the broccoli, apple and garlic so that all is coated with the butter

4. Cover, lower the heat and steam for about 10 minutes

5. Add the stock, milk, nutmeg and pepper

6. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover with the lid at an angle and simmer for about 20-30 minutes

7. Remove from heat, liquidize with a hand held stick blender in the saucepan (or cool down slightly and use a food blender)

8. Return to heat, add parmesan cheese and sherry (if using) and heat through well but don’t boil

9. Serve with crumbled feta cheese, croutons and a sprinkling of parsley on top

browniegirl tip: An Italian friend taught me never to throw away the leftover rind (heel) of the parmesan cheese when you cannot grate anymore off. Pop into freezer bags and freeze until needed. When making soup pop one intop the saucepan with the stock. It adds a wonderful flavor to the soup. Discard the parmesan heel before blending.

I do not add salt to this soup while cooking as the feta is quite salty. Rather season once you have tasted your soup with the feta added.

Enjoy!!

Have a great week everyone,

browniegirl xx

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