I started gardening about 6 weeks ago and my broccoli is the first vegetable I’ve been able to harvest. Now, what I should have done is cut it immediately once I saw the large crown sprout up about a week and a half ago… But I was in and out of town, and just too busy to think about chopping them up and cooking them. Well, it only took about a week for the florets to completely change form. I was unaware that all of the tiny little pods that make up a crown of broccoli are tiny yellow flowers just waiting to bloom! You can see below where I was at week 5 of the vegetable garden with my two broccoli plants, the plant on the right is just beginning to show a few yellow flowers – and then one week later they both exploded with pretty yellow flowers everywhere! These are still perfectly edible, though the skinny stems become a bit tough after they flower. So I decided to puree the fibrous stems and sweet flowers to make a lighter version of a broccoli cheese soup by adding leeks and chicken stock.
Broccoli Flower & Leek Soup
1 large crown of broccoli (or two small heads of broccoli flowers like I used)
2 1/2- 3 cups chicken stock
2 oz Gouda Cheese
2 oz Colby Cheese
1 tbs butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
Prep your broccoli by rinsing lightly, then trim off all the large flat leaves and discard. Then chop up the tender florets and stem and set aside in a steamer basket. Next, discard the roots and tough green tips from your leek. Then slice the leek lengthwise and separate the layers as you place them in to a large bowl of water to rinse. Leeks tend to collect quite a bit of dirt and grit in between the outer layers- you want to make sure and rinse all of that out before you cook them.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt over your broccoli and steam until tender. While that is steaming, you can saute the leeks in another skillet with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Saute these until translucent and cooked through.
In a food processor or a blender-combine your steamed broccoli and cooked leeks. Pulse a few times until the big pieces are broken down well, then stream in the chicken stock until your desired consistency is achieved. Once all is well blended- take your pureed broccoli and leek soup and pour it into a pot set to medium heat. Stir in 1 tbs of butter and any reserved chicken stock if it is still too thick.
Then add the grated cheese and stir until well melted and combined. I used two cheeses that I purchased from Brazos Valley Cheese, artisan cheese makers in Waco TX. The nutty Gouda and creamy Colby cheese was just perfect to offset the light broccoli and leek soup.