Tag Archives: broccoli

Broccoli and Spinach Bisque

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Years ago, while growing up, if I wanted to have a bowl of soup for lunch, it came out of a small bright red and white can.  It was called Campbell’s…  Our family always had Campbell’s condensed cans of cream of mushroom, chicken noodle or tomato available in the cupboard ready to add water and heat up.  Back then, I thought that it tasted great for I did not know any better.  Homemade soup was pretty much nonexistent in our diets because we never made it at home and we rarely ate at what I would call a “sit down restaurant”.  And if we did, I would always order a green salad instead of soup.

I was first introduced to making homemade soups after I moved out of the house in my late teens.  I learned how to prepare soups while working my way through college as a short order cook.  As a short order cook, I discovered how easy, inexpensive and delicious homemade soups can be.  In the commercial kitchen, I learned how to make bean soups, cream soups, vegetable soups, noodle soups and so much more.  I strongly believe that my education in the restaurant was as valuable as the high priced education that I received in college.

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Today, I want to share with you an easy to make Broccoli and Spinach Bisque.  It’s made with fresh organic broccoli, spinach and leeks in a good quality chicken stock with a hint of white pepper and fresh grated nutmeg.  Instead of using heavy cream with a ton of fat and calories, I’ve lightened it up a bit with some 2% milk.

“Toto, I’ve a feeling that we’re not having Campbell’s anymore”.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 2 cups leeks (white and light green parts only, chopped)
  • 5 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 quart Chicken Stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 4 Tbs flour
  • 2 cups milk (2%)

Begin by cooking the leeks in 1 Tbs butter in a large sauce pan.  Cook over medium flame until translucent, stirring constantly taking care not to burn.  Add broccoli, chicken stock and salt.  Cover and cook until broccoli is tender.  Add spinach, grated nutmeg and white pepper and cook a few minutes more.  Meanwhile in a medium sized sauce pan cook butter and flour mixture (making a roux) until a light golden brown.  Add milk, whisk constantly and cook until thickened.  Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture.  Puree with hand blender and cook for a few more minutes.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Ladle into cups or bowls and garnish with chopped green onion or chives.  Makes 2 quarts or about 8 – 1 cup servings.

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Broccoli Bisque

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I have not posted any recipes for the past couple of weeks… It’s not that I did not want to or that I was being lazy.  Most of my free time after work has been spent trying to figure out why my website was not cooperating with me.  Most of the time food blogging is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby but it can be extremely frustrating at times.  Maintaining a food/recipe website is a combination of being a food writer, photographer and webmaster.  I am comfortable with the first two items, but the web master part, I’m still learning (struggling). And, in my opinion, I have a long way to go…

My website problem was this…  Every time I tried to post my Broccoli Bisque recipe, the body of the post would not stay formatted properly. I tried everything. I uninstalled and re-installed different components on my website.  I tried even changing the look of my website.  My frustration level with my computer was at all time high.  I was seriously irritated and I was questioning why I even want to be a food blogger in the first place.  In other words, my website was seriously “jacked up”.

Then late last night it dawned on me…  I thought to myself that maybe I’m having software conflicts with web browsers.  I’ve seen that before with software applications at work.  I have certain applications that I work with that don’t run very well in Internet Explorer and perfectly in Firefox.  And vice versa.  Since I only have Firefox on my laptop, I thought I’d download a free copy of Google Chrome.  I installed it and then I tried working on my website while on Google Chrome.  Unbelievable!  Problem solved!  I learned something big.  Next time I am having problems with my website I’m going to check if it is an issue  with a web browser before spending the time dismantling my entire website.

Well, I’m back.  I look forward to being back on schedule and creating some dishes to share.  Meanwhile, be sure to try my easy vegan Broccoli Bisque.  It’s simple to make, good for you and most importantly, it tastes delicious!  Enjoy!  Tessa

 Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound broccoli florets
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 cups russet potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • salt to taste.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, add broccoli, onions, canola oil and a big pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring constantly until broccoli is crisp tender or onions are translucent.  Add potatoes, vegetable stock, coriander, and white pepper.  Cook covered until potatoes and broccoli are tender.  Grab an immersion blender and blend until creamy.  Add more stock if necessary.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley or chopped onion.  Serves 4.

Sesame Broccoli Snap Pea Salad

Sesame Broccoli Snap Pea Salad

When I got home from work this evening, I stopped at my little garden on the side of our home to see what I could gather for our dinner tonight.  I was surprised to see that my broccoli was ready to pick and that I had a bunch of sugar snap peas on the vines.  The cool wet weather we have had lately here in Southern Oregon has been perfect for my little garden!

Broccoli growing in the garden…

I’ve never been really successful at growing broccoli until this year.  The broccoli heads were beautiful and I did not have any problems with aphids.  I grow everything in my garden organically without the use of herbicides or chemical fertilizers.  We compost as much of our kitchen scraps as possible and I rotate the plants every year.  I believe that growing organic vegetables is better for you and tastes so much better than chemically treated vegetables.

Fresh picked broccoli

I found it interesting that the broccoli florets that I picked were not as dense or tightly packed as you would see with store bought broccoli.  I’m not really sure why.  Maybe it was the variety that I planted.  Regardless, the broccoli tasted amazingly fresh and delicious!

With my fresh picked broccoli and sugar snap peas I decided to make an Asian inspired Sesame Broccoli Snap Pea Salad.  My Sesame Broccoli Snap Pea Salad has fresh crunchy red bell pepper, bright red onions, sweet shredded carrots and tossed with a sweet and tangy sesame seed vinaigrette.  Makes 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces broccoli florets (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas (cut in half)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 Tbs Mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
  • 1 Tbs each black and white sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Prepare your vegetables and set aside.  Grab a 4 quart pot, fill with water and add a big pinch of salt.  Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil.  Get another bowl and fill with ice cubes and water.  Add broccoli to boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and add to ice water to stop cooking.  Do the same with the sugar snap peas but cook only 1 minute.

Drain broccoli and snap peas and add to a mixing bowl.  Add remaining vegetables.  Grab a small bowl and whisk together the canola oil, Mirin, sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, honey, garlic paste, salt and white pepper.  Add to vegetable mixture and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.