Sunday, January 23, 2011

We need soup STAT!

977599We had a beautiful memorial service at our church this afternoon for one of our members who passed away almost two weeks ago. The service was filled with scripture passages, psalms, and hymns that were very meaningful to Ruth--ones that she had picked out knowing that her time on earth was nearing its end.

But that's not why I'm writing about soup.

After the service, as all good Lutherans do, we had refreshments in the church basement. Now, to most people "refreshments" means coffee and perhaps some stale cookies from the nearest grocery in-store bakery. Or, if you're lucky, a sheet cake from the warehouse store. But as the teens would say "that's not how we roll."

There were sandwiches--at least 8 different kinds, and just as many if not more salads. Plus cookies (homemade, of course), coffee, and iced tea. None of us had eaten lunch, and so when 3 p.m. rolled around...well, I know I should have restrained myself, but I was starving and husband and daughter were in the same condition. We ate, chatted with friends, shared our remembrances of Ruth with the family, and ate some more. All of us, and still there were leftovers.

But that's not why I'm writing about soup.

Somehow, when 7 p.m. rolled around, the spaghetti sauce I had planned to reheat just didn't sound quite so alluring anymore. Too heavy. Too much. We wanted/needed something lighter. But not a 2-hour-simmer-on-the-stove production. Soooo.....

Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large stalked celery, chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
8 cups broccoli florets
3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups non-fat milk
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; add onions and celery and saute until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.

Add broccoli and broth. Cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Puree soup in blender and pour into a bowl and set aside. (NOTE: Use extreme caution when blending hot liquids in your blender. It is best to do it in small batches. Some blender manufacturers suggest removing the center section of the lid and covering with a clean cloth.)

Place the large pot over medium heat and melt the butter. Once the butter has completely melted, whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly until there are no lumps. Continue to whisk while adding the milk. Stir until thickened and bubbly. Add the pureed broccoli and stir. When hot add salt and pepper to taste.

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