Broccoli and zucchini soup
- 8 oz fresh red onion, chopped
- 1 medium leek, white and light green portion (keep the dark green leaves to make broth or stock)
- 1 lb broccoli or broccoli romanesco
- 1 1/2 lb zucchini
- olive oil
- 4 cups homemade light chicken stock or vegetable stock
- water, as needed
- 12 fresh basil leaves, or to taste
- sea salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste
Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise and rinse carefully in a colander to remove any dirt. Wash and cut broccoli heads into florets. Peel the tough outer layer of the stalk, quarter if very thick, and cut crosswise into short lengths. Wash and slice the zucchini.
Warm up some olive oil in a soup pot and add onion and leek. Stir to coat and after a couple of minutes, cover the pot and let the vegetables cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Add broccoli, zucchini and stock, then enough water so that the vegetables are almost, but not completely, covered: you should still see a bit sticking out of the liquid. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then lower to a lively simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft. Check after 25 minutes. When done, remove from the heat and add the basil. Purée with an immersion blender. Given the watery nature of zucchini, I find this soup liquid enough, but you can certainly add more water, if needed, to make the soup reach the desired consistency. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
The result is a mild-flavored soup that you can enjoy as is or enrich in various ways: cheese (freshly grated or crumbled, depending on the kind of cheese you choose), cooked grains (like hull-less barley or quinoa), chopped onions cooked with poppy seeds (semi di papavero). The latter, featured in the photo above, were left over from another recipe that I hope to feature soon. If you don't add grains to the soup, accompany it with some nice bread, maybe homemade.