Saturday, January 7, 2017

Broccoli Soup au Gratin – Thin to Win!

It was one of those weeks. The holiday pushed me off schedule by a day; they’re doing construction next door, which means I can’t record at certain times; and if that wasn’t enough, this amazing looking soup was a total disaster – a temporary disaster – but a disaster nonetheless.

The good news is, I saved it in the end, and hopefully we’ll all be better for it. Turns out a cheesy crouton, like one you’d enjoy on a French onion soup, is a terrible idea, if your soup is extra thick, and bordering on a purée.

I came close to tossing everything, and ordering pizza, but what kind of example would that set? So I thinned it out, passed it through a fire mesh strainer, and gave it another try. This made it significantly better, and the ingredient amounts seen below have been adjusted, so you should get a texture similar to my final version.

I’m not sure when/if I’ll try this again, but if I do, I’ll use small croutons, so I can eat it without drenching all the cheesy bread with the first few bites. While I officially hope you give this a try soon, I secretly hope you experiment with better soup choices to use this potentially great technique. Enjoy!  


Ingredients for 6 portions:
2 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus probably more to taste
3 cloves minced garlic
2 pounds broccoli, trimmed
5 to 6 cups broth, or as needed to adjust texture
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
6 round crispy croutons the same size as your crock (or 3 cups of little salad croutons)
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar, gruyere, or combination of the two
*Note: Be sure to adjust with more broth if need be, as well as pass the soup through a fine mesh strainer to achieve a finer texture.

10 comments:

bdwilcox said...

You are the C. Everett Koop of your failed broccoli soup.

TJ Evens said...

Hello Chef John, try not pureeing all the broccoli. Reserve 1/3 before blending then add back. This will give the crouton something to rest on, much like the onions in French Onion Soup.

TJ Evens said...

John John John, love ya babe, but the solution to this one is so easy and you missed it. Reserve some of the broccoli before you puree it. Then once the soup is smooth add the broccoli back in and voila! No more sinking feeling! Try it, you'll love it. Enjoy! Seriously though, love ya.

TJ Evens said...

John John John, love ya babe, but the solution to this one is so easy and you missed it. Reserve some of the broccoli before you puree it. Then once the soup is smooth add the broccoli back in and voila! No more sinking feeling! Try it, you'll love it. Enjoy! Seriously though, love ya.

Dana Faria said...

I want to try this recipe, because it looks incredible- but I'm cooking for people who cannot eat dairy. Would it still work without the heavy cream?

Dana Faria said...

I want to try this recipe, but I'm cooking for people who cannot have dairy, would it work without the heavy cream?

me me said...

Well first I'd nit-pick about the pronunciation of the french word "au". It's not spoken as "au" (or aw as Chef John seems to) but more like "ou" or simply "o", more like it was Irish as in O'Grady.
Right from the get-go, as he put in the broccoli, I'm sitting here thinking "that's gonna be WAY too thick, doh". And that slice of bread is gonna be hard to eat with a spoon, again doh. Why not use delicious Bluetons or some other cheese crouton?
Why not just re-shoot the vid and not look like an amateur? Or am I missing some sort of point?

Phil said...

I really, really appreciate your honesty. So many Chefs/Cooks will prepare something and no matter what the outcome, ooh and aah (sic) about how wonderful and delicious it is. Sometimes things don't turn out like we planned, and it's alright. We learn from our mistakes.

beemo said...

You're still the greatest English-speaking culinary pedagogue!

I can cook said...

Every day I see your recipe. Please help me to share his recipe. Thank you