How about a soup that not only tastes great but is also good for you!
We all know broccoli is good for you but then when you add all these other healthy ingredients plus some toasted almonds for texture, favor and a little extra protein, you end up with a nutritionally balanced meal that tastes great. Simple to make, takes about 30 minutes, a great dish for the middle of the week when time is a valued commodity. Some might call this health food, I call it good and good for you.
Almonds as we know them come from an almond tree which is native to the Middle East but can be found in many locations around the globe. The fruit of the almond tree is called a “drupe”. When you remove the the outer coat you arrive at the green, leathery hull. Remove the hull and you find yourself looking at a hard woody shell, think peach pit. Remove the shell and you now have the seed that you can eat. It’s often called a nut but it is not a nut but a seed. Who know?
What you find in most grocery stores are blanched almonds which are “shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seedcoat, which is then removed to reveal the white embryo.”
These are good as snacks raw but I think they are even better when toasted. You can also find almond slivers that are great for salads. You can also find almond flour used as a gluten free alternative to wheat flour.
Broccoli Almond Soup Recipe
1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
6 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock works too)
1 head of broccoli, stems peeled, stems and florets cut into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Optional - 4 tablespoons of half and half or sour cream
How To Prepare At Home
Toast the almonds in a small fry pan until they become fragrant and turn a little brown. Remove from pan and reserve. Don't let them burn or you'll have to throw them out and start over. Nobody wants the taste of burnt almonds in their soup.
In a large heated soup pot, add the butter and when it gets hot, add the onion and cook for a few minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for a minute or two. Add the broccoli and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 12 minutes or until the brocolli becomes fork tender.
Add the reserved almonds to the soup but reserve a few for garnishing at the end. Puree the soup with a hand blender, regular blender or food processor.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If the soup is really hot, it will affect your ability to taste so you may have to let it cool down a little before adjusting the seasoning.
If you are looking for even more richness (and calories) stir in the half and half or sour cream. You may even want to leave out the sour cream and serve it at the table so your guests can add it themselves if so inclined.
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