I must be honest here. Broccoli didn't pass my lips until I was well past my 30th birthday. I was raised in an era when green vegetables were cooked until they turned gray and I became adept at hiding peas and other sundry in my dinner napkin. My conversion, when it came, was due to the power of Chinese takeout and the lovely crisp vegetables tucked inside those carry-out containers. Again, in the interest of complete transparency, you also need to know that I love a bargain. That will help you understand how 5 pounds of spinach, 3 pounds of broccoli florets and 2 pounds of snap peas simultaneously ended up in the vegetable crisper of a refrigerator that feeds two people. I reason that if we don't eat it all it's still less expensive than buying in smaller quantities. Here's the problem - I can't bare to waste food, so I end up scrambling to create usable recipes that will save my bargains from the compost pile. I really like today's recipe. It uses five ingredients to produce a vegan soup that is delicious - a real palate pleaser. It starts with broccoli that's cooked in vegetable stock along with a puree of caramelized onions, garlic and lite tofu. The end result is a creamy broccoli soup that contains no cream. I hope you'll try this one. I don't think you'll be disappointed. It improves as it sits, it's great for company and it can be served hot or cold. What's not to like?
Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups (14 to 16-oz.) thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons (about 6 cloves) coarsely chopped garlic
1 (12-oz.) box lite silken tofu
1-1/2 to 2 pounds broccoli florets
2 (14.5-oz.) cans vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
1) Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook covered, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized. Remove onions to bender jar. Add garlic to skillet; cook until garlic is fragrant. Add to blender jar. Puree. Add tofu. Pulse to combine. Return to skillet.
2) Add broccoli, vegetable stock and water to skillet containing onion-tofu mixture. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer broccoli, in batches to a blender jar. Puree. Season to taste to with salt, pepper and lemon juice if using. I've found this recipe needs a good deal of salt. Yield: 6 servings.