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Broccoli Gorgonzola Soup with Lemon Croutons

February 25, 2011

We had a lovely January here in San Francisco—warm, sunny days in the high 60s, even low 70s. And—until last week—we had a pretty lovely February as well. Then came the rain. And the cold. So cold, in fact, that it may snow in San Francisco tonight. Snow. In San Francisco. WHAT?!

If it does snow, it will be the first time it has snowed in San Francisco in over 30 years, and only the 11th time that it has snowed here since 1856. Craziness. But despite the freezing cold temperatures, I have to say I’m pretty excited about the possibility of some snow in these parts. It would be a pretty amazing to see. Cold. But amazing. Let’s hope we see a little snow tonight…

What does cold, rainy (possibly snowy) weather mean? At least in this household? Warm, hearty soup. Last night I made my Pea Soup with Pesto-Lemon Cream (a favorite of ours). But last week, I made this equally yummy Broccoli Gorgonzola Soup. It’s rich and hearty. And so satisfying. But with a minimal amount of cheese (and no cream or butter), it’s pretty healthy too. Not to mention simple, quick, and easy to make. It will most certainly warm you up on a cold night. Or even a snowy night, as the case may be.

BROCCOLI GORGONZOLA SOUP WITH LEMON CROUTONS

Inspired by 101 Cookbooks

Serves 4

For the soup:

1 lb. fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
3-4 cups low sodium chicken broth or mild vegetable broth
olive oil
salt & pepper

For the lemon croutons:

3-4 slices of a crusty loaf of bread (preferably day old), cubed
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper

Make the lemon croutons. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the pieces of bread in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil—just enough so that the cubes of bread are lightly coated in olive oil—and mix together with the lemon juice, a couple pinches of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Spread the croutons on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes—tossing occasionally with a spatula—until crispy and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the soup. In a large pot, heat a couple splashes of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and shallots, along with a little salt and pepper (to taste), and cook until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped potato, along with a little more salt and pepper. Stir everything together, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Next, add 3 cups of broth, and bring everything to a simmer. Once the broth is simmering away, add the broccoli florets, cover the pot, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the broccoli is tender but still bright green. Remove the soup from the heat, and get out your immersion blender.* Blend the soup, using the immersion blender, until it’s smooth and creamy. Next, stir in the gorgonzola (reserving a few crumbles for garnish). At this point, taste for seasonings. Add salt and pepper to taste and, if you feel that the soup is too thick, add a little more broth to reach your desired consistency. Finally, blend everything together one more time—this will ensure that the gorgonzola is well-incorporated, and that the soup is nice and smooth.

Ladle into bowls. Garnish with a little crumbled gorgonzola, and top with a few lemon croutons. Enjoy on a cold, wintry night.

* If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can purée the soup in batches in a food processor or blender. But immersion blenders are a wonderful kitchen tool. Read about why I think everyone should have one here.

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