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Cream Broccoli Soup with Almond-Romano Pesto
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 large potato, peeled and diced
4 broccoli stalks (2 cups florets reserved)
1/2 lb spinach, stemmed
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, stemmed
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat stock and keep it warm while preparing the soup. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat and saute the onion
Add garlic, salt, thyme and chile flakes and saute until golden. Stir in broccoli and potato, cook for several minutes.
Add warm stock to cover, bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the broccoli and potatoes are just tender.
2. Stir in the spinach leaves and turn off the heat. Let the soup rest until the spinach wilts, then puree until smooth.
Reheat the puree, add cream and more stock to thin, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a hard boil. Add the salt and reserved broccoli florets and blanch until just
done and bright green (about 1 minute).
Strain immediately and plunge the florets into a bowl of ice water. Let them cool off, then strain and spread out on a clean,
dry towel to drain. Set aside.
4. To prepare the pesto, place the parsley, almonds, garlic and cheese in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the olive
oil and puree, stopping short of making it completely smooth. Blend in salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve the soup hot, with a swirl of pesto in each bowl and garnished with broccoli florets.