written and photographed by Jane Grueber
After reading some heavy articles about plant-based eating and its benefits, I am opting for a bit of a lighter read: Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life by Karen Karbo. I first read this book about 6 years ago and I think it would be a great book club read whether you’re a foodie or not! I remember getting THE Julia Child cookbook around that time too, but frankly I found the recipes cumbersome despite her efforts to demystify French Cuisine for the home chef.
In Rules, Julia comes off as a tour de force and a renegade of her time. She didn’t take any flack but did it in a kind way. I suppose she knew the old adage, “A soft answer turneth away wrath“. The first chapter of the book is titled, “Live with Abandon” and it’s vodka and martinis all around as Julia drives across America with her gentleman friend, Paul Child. And that’s just a summary of the first paragraph. It only gets better from there.
I love traditional French cooking, especially the different techniques, sauces and soups, so I want to go a little French here.
Here is my take on a recipe for a delicious and subtle Broccoli-Almond Soup from an old French Cuisine cookbook. It was written by a French woman for an American audience. I found at the library a long time ago and, unfortunately, I don’t remember her name or the name of her book.
This soup has become one of our family favorites. I love it because it takes very little time, has very few ingredients (if you don’t have them all on hand, no problem) and the results are healthful and delicious. The coriander adds a subtle, warming flavor to this soup so it is worth having some on hand.
I often leave the almonds out and substitute coconut cream for the sour cream. I also add some nutritional yeast just before serving.
1 lbs of broccoli, large stalks peeled and cut into small pieces
4 tsps of butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 oz of blanched almonds, toasted
2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
pinch of coriander
salt to taste
white pepper to taste
sour cream to serve
broccoli florets to serve
1. Steam the broccoli until it is completely tender.
2. Reserve florets for decoration (if you want to)
3. Melt the butter in a large Dutch Oven type pot on medium heat and saute onion until golden brown.
4. Combine the broccoli, onion, almonds and a cup or so of chicken stock in a blender and puree until completely smooth.
5. Return the pureed mixture to the Dutch Oven and stir in the remaining chicken stock, coriander, salt, pepper and heat until hot, adding a little more water/chicken stock if soup is too thick.
6. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and broccoli florets.