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One if By Land, Two if By Sea, Three if BA: The In-Laws Are Coming! (Also, Curried Broccoli Soup)

And they’re even British! That’s right, Mr. T’s mom–whoops, I mean mum–Mrs. T and his sister, Dr. T, are coming to visit. They get in this evening, and when I have house guest incoming after a long flight, I often turn to soup. It’s tasty and nourishing, but easy to deal with when a full-on meal might be too much. A nice restorative bowl and a bit of good bread or biscuit (U.S. spec.) is, I think, the perfect thing having sat in a plane for hours and done battle with THE AIRPORT, which is always a nightmare, no matter where THE AIRPORT happens to be. The last time Mrs. T came to visit, I think I made the medieval squash soup. That, of course, means that I need something else for tonight. I don’t like to repeat recipes for guests, least of all for the mother-in-law (who, for the record, is super-lovely and delightful and is DEFINITELY not tracking my soup service…).


So, what soup to make? Curried Broccoli! Yes. Another perennial favorite, this simple puree seems far more than the sum of its parts. A little onion, a little curry, a little broccoli, and you’re there. The curry (and a stealthy potato) adds welcome warmth and substance without making it overbearing or heavy. Spice to your heart’s content, but I like a sweet, mild curry for this. Now is not the time for eye-bursting vindaloo. So that’s the plan at least: curried broccoli soup for the English guests. Curry! Come on! That’s practically like serving Heinz Baked Beans on toast… except, you know, for the whole “ewww” thing. After eight years with Mr. T, it seems that I’m still American at least.

Curried Broccoli Soup
Makes ~3 quarts

4 tbs unsalted butter
2 c diced white onion
2 tbs minced garlic
~2 tbs sweet curry powder
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
2 lb broccoli, florets broken, stems peeled & diced
4 c low-sodium chicken or vegetable  stock
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large soup pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add onion and cook a few minutes till translucent. Add garlic, curry power, a few turns of pepper and a pinch of salt before cooking a couple minutes more, till deeply fragrant. Add potato and broccoli stems, stirring to combine and cooking a few minutes more. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer till vegetables are almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add remaining broccoli (florets) and water to almost cover. Bring back to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook till broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender and correct seasoning–add additional salt, pepper, or a bit of lemon juice to taste.

Notes & Variations
Since the curry is fairly emphatic, even when sweet, I like to use a chicken stock here. Feel free, however, to just use water or sub in a vegetable stock–either homemade or from the store. Also, if you’d like a chunkier soup, you can puree the onion, potato, and broccoli stem mixture before adding the florets. Just be sure that the florets are in pieces small enough to fit on your spoon.

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