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Ah, creamed soup! That standby of childhood... a friend at the sickbed... and the final resting place of many a leftover. Creamed soup can be as simple as cooked, puréed vegetables with a little broth added, or as fancy as a highly spiced mixture of pumpkin, curry and heavy cream. This all-purpose cream of broccoli soup falls somewhere in the middle. It's a lovely emerald-green, just the thing to set on the table when the winter landscape outside varies only from white to gray to brown. Other vegetables (or chicken, or turkey) can be substituted for the broccoli in equal amounts, with only slight variations in seasoning. This recipe comes from Loell Rodgers of beautiful Morrill, Maine, who knows all about long winters!
3 cups chicken broth
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cups broccoli cuts, fresh, or 1 16-oz. bag or 2 10-oz. packages frozen broccoli cuts
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
2 small garlic cloves
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk, half and half, or evaporated milk
Combine chicken broth, onions, broccoli, thyme, bay leaf and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly until all milk is added; mixture will be lumpy at first, but will smooth out as you keep stirring. Cook, stirring occasionally, till mixture bubbles and thickens.
Remove and discard bay leaf from broccoli/broth mixture. Purée in batches in blender or food processor for 30 seconds, or until very smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Add milk mixture, stirring until well combined. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 3, January-February 1992 issue.