My family really likes broccoli, so I buy a lot of it and we eat a lot of it. In recent years, I have gotten in the habit of keeping the stems and stalks and using them for soup. It does require a little prep time to peel the stalks of the fibrous outer layer, however you end up with a better soup at the end. If you choose not to peel it, you will need to strain it so you do not end up with strings of fiber in your soup. The broccoli stalks last for a pretty long while in your vegetable drawer in the refrigerator.
It was a nice rainy day today and I had a little extra time so it seemed perfect to make up that pot of soup. Besides tonight was leftover night anyway as we have lots of food in the refrigerator we need to eat. It just makes sense to add something else.
Broccoli Squash Soup
5 broccoli stalks
1 14 oz package frozen butternut squash (this can be made with squash in any form – fresh, frozen cubes or variety)
1 small onion
3 garlic cloves
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Adobo, tumeric, cumin to taste
1. Peel the broccoli stalks of the fibrous outer layer – The easiest way to do this is to start from the bottom up and cut off smaller stalks as you going, peeling each one individually
2. Cut the peeled stalks into roughly the same size chunks (you want it to cook evenly)
3. In medium pot, add broccoli, garlic cloves, onion (cut in into equal size parts – I had about 8), squash and vegetable stock
4. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until broccoli stalks are tender and squash has defrosted
5. Use blender to puree all the ingredients, return to pot
6. Season to taste with adobo, cumin, tumeric
Broccoli squash soup is incredibly simple, delicious and versatile. You can flavor it with any flavor combination from curry spices (as I have done) or Italian spices (oregano, basil, etc). You can add cream, or roast the vegetables beforehand. It is healthy and hearty.
Apple Brie Quesadilla
I stumbled across this in a food network recipe on 5 dinner meals in 45 minutes. It sounded pretty interesting and I just happened to have some granny smith apples that I needed to eat.
1/2 granny smith apple
4-5 slices brie
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon mustard
1. Cut apple in halve and use mandolin to cut thin, even slices
2. Drizzle with olive oil and grill for 3-4 minutes in grill pan, over medium high heat, until marks appear
3. Layer tortilla with brie and grilled apples
4. Grill quesadilla in grill pan for additional 3-4 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear and cheese melts
5. Mix maple syrup and mustard together to drizzle over top
This meal was perfect. It was the right size, and it balanced out the rainy weather perfectly.