Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Asian" Broccoli Soup

I wasn’t kidding about all soup, all the time. Granted, savvy food bloggers don’t keep writing about the same dish over and over again. They know that readers come back for variety. But what do you expect when the weather around these parts looks like this:

And this:
You expect soup. This is a very nice variation on creamy broccoli soup, which I make occasionally with cheddar. I was out of cheese, though, and keeping with my policy to work with ingredients that I already have, I made an “Asian” variation. Of course, I mean Asian only in the very vague sense that it contains soy sauce, hoisin, fresh ginger, black bean sauce and nam pla (fish sauce). I’d bet it would be great with miso, as suggested here.


Finely chop a large onion and a couple of carrots. Heat up some olive or peanut oil in a heavy soup pot, and sauté the aromatics until the onion is soft and golden. Add about ½-inch of finely minced fresh ginger and a clove of minced garlic; sauté for a few more minutes until the ginger and garlic are aromatic.

Deglaze with a splash of mirin and soy sauce. Add 2-3 cups of broccoli florets (about 2 medium heads of broccoli), along with the peeled, finely chopped broccoli stalks to the soup pot. Cover with chicken stock—about 4 cups—and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, until the broccoli is very tender. Take the soup off the heat, carefully puree in a blender in batches, add back to the pot, and bring it to a simmer.

In a bowl, combine a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and hoisin (or sweet and sour sauce), a teaspoon of black bean sauce, a splash of fish sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of honey and a dash of Sriracha sauce (or any other spicy chili sauce).

Add sauces to stock pot; stir; taste; adjust as necessary. When serving, garnish with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, dark sesame oil or seared tofu.

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