Sunday, 19 June 2011

Creamy Broccoli and Mushroom Soup

It's officially summer here and it is the best time you can have in the UK. It’s bright, days are longer, warmer and lots of colours around you. Fruits, birds and not forget, creepy insects are also in plenty during this time of the year.  It is also one time of the year where you get to see lots of children playing outside, chitchatting, racing and all the fun. My son is really enjoying the change, weather, his newly acquainted friends and so am I. He spends lot of time in the nearby park, with the neighbourhood kids and yet is full of energy. It’s just me who gets exhausted and drained by the end of day running behind him as he als started crying for every little silly things! He’s never been like that before, and I assume it’s all part of attention seeking drama. Even though I am quite aware of his ploy, I get fooled every single time. Sigh!

About the soup, I came across this Mushroom and Broccoli soup prepared by my friend Shami. To talk about shami, she is a great cook and a fantastic baker and she owns her own Empire in Facebook. She claims I was her inspiration, but looks like she is on a marathon and I can’t  be any way close to her. She is fast! She cooks on regular basis, post it on FB and all I couldd do is sit and watch her cook and grow!  I had some good amount of mushrooms sitting in the fridge on the edge of decaying, and so I planned to make shami’s soup. The dinner was fixed and I knew it was going to be easy; it is a mushroom and broccoli soup.  I knew I was going to modify it my own way and that is just the way I am. I can’t follow a recipe religiously even though I had failed miserably many a times making changes that are not really required. Here, I added potato, cheese , nutmeg and stock cubes. Simple to make (apart from chopping broccoli and slicing mushrooms) and it was so delicious with my high expectations. I am not a great fan of the earthy flavour of mushrooms, but something has  wrapped that taste up and it was just so perfect for me – Creamy, rich-tasting, yet light, busting with flavours and simply satisfying!

Creamy Broccoli and Mushroom Soup
Serves 10 -12 as Starter
Preparation time: 10-15 mins
Cooking time: 20 - 25mins

4 cups chopped broccoli, 320 g
4 cups sliced mushrooms, 300g (I used closed cup mushrooms, u can easily use button mushrooms)
1 large onion chopped, 1 cup, 135g
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 medium potato,140g, cut into 1 cm cubes, almost a cup
2 ½ cubes of Knorr vegetable bouillon cubes (Stock cubes)
3 cups of semi skimmed milk or whole milk
2-3 cups hot water
A good pinch of grated nutmeg, around 1/8 th of a nutmeg
½ cup grated mild cheddar cheese
6 tbsp soft butter
A dash of olive oil
1/3 cup plain flour
Salt and freshly crushed pepper to taste

1.Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large frying pan or saucepan. Throw in chopped onion, garlic and potatoes and 1 vegetable bouillon cube. Sauté till onions go soft and potatoes are half cooked, for about 7 minutes.

2. Add in chopped broccoli and sliced mushroom, stir, cover it and let it cook on gentle heat until broccoli is cooked through, yet slightly crunch, for another 6-7 minutes.

3. Tip the cooked vegetable into a bowl. Rinse the saucepan and then heat rest of butter until melted. Add in the flour and keep stirring for a minute. Turn off the heat. Let it cool down for a minute, then add in milk. Stir it well with a wire whisk to breakdown all lumps of dough. Return it back to heat, crumble in the rest of vegetable stock cubes, and simmer by stirring occasionally until it boils.

4. Add in boiling water and bring it to boil again. Simmer for 2 minutes and then add in all the cokked vegetables. Simmer for a further couple of minutes to bring in the flavour of teh vegetables to the milk.

5. Grate in nutmeg, stir well. Turn off the heat and then add grated cheddar and just mix in. Adjust the seasoning if need be and serve hot with lot of crushed black pepper alongside any rustic bread like ciabatta, baguette or garlic bread.

N.B:. I haven't added any salt here as the Bouillon cubes are really salty.

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