There was a scene in an animated movie about dinosaurs that I watched when I was a kid where some dinosaurs saw a tree in the distance that was full of leaves, and they thought, “Yay! Food!” because Earth was changing and there wasn’t enough food to eat, but then before they could get to the tree, a whole bunch of other dinosaurs came and ate it all.
That tree looked like a giant broccoli.
So now whenever I eat broccoli, I think of dinosaurs.
For a while after watching that movie, I would re-enact that scene with the broccoli I ate, nibbling first the florets, just like those dinosaurs did. Then the scene would wrap with me eating the stem. The end.
While I could easily forage through a large steaming bowl of plain, just boiled broccoli, I also love enjoying soft, nubby bits of broccoli in a bath of creamy, thick soup. I don’t imagine the Earth ever had milky waters flowing over it, but perhaps in dinosaur times…
Cream of Broccoli
makes 6-8 servings; basically one big pot
1 small yellow onion
1-2 garlic cloves
a blob of butter
2-3 stemless heads of broccoli
at least 500 ml vegetable/chicken stock or water
250 ml 35% cream
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
salt and pepper
Dice the onions and smash the garlic. In a large stock pot, heat a good blob of butter over medium heat. Drop in the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally and letting the onions soften and grow translucent. Meanwhile, break the broccoli heads into small pieces either with your hands or chopping it up. I prefer to omit the stems because they can be a little woody sometimes, and I like soft, tender nubs of broccoli in something as soothing as cream soup.
Add the broccoli to the pot and stir. Let it cook for another minute or so, and add enough stock/water to just barely cover the vegetables. Bring it to a boil, and then cover the pot, turn the heat down, and let it simmer until the broccoli is tender. Pour in the cream, and enjoy the billowing of the cream as it mixes with the broth. If you would like your soup thicker, dissolve the cornstarch in the water in a small bowl. Stir into the soup, and heat until it comes close to a boil so the starch gelatinizes and thickens up the soup. Take the soup off the heat, and using an immersion blender, lightly blitz the soup to help break down the broccoli florets into smaller pieces – I like a soup with smaller chunks, so how vigorous you are with this is up to you. Add salt and pepper, and voila! Enjoy slurping up some vegetation from the bountiful milky waters in your soup bowl.