Meatless Meals 4: Broccoli Cheese Soup

When You Think “Lenten Meals” — Think Vegetarian!

As a family, Lenten Meals to us are an opportunity to enjoy “meatless” meals.  And, I do mean — ENJOY!  During the Lenten Season, we make an effort to eat “meatless” two times a week — on Wednesdays and Fridays.  I will do my best to post some of our favorites during these next few weeks!

Growing up in a four row-home complex surrounded by family members (through birth & adopted)…. grandmothers, aunts, uncles and cousins…. during the time when every Friday was meatless, I have many a recipe for “meatless” / “lighter” meals.  Many are the “normal” fare…. Macaroni & Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Spaghetti in a meatless red sauce, Fish Dishes, Egg Dishes, Crepes (palacinka)….. But, some are very “ethnic” in nature.  As you will notice as I share them with you through my posts.  I expect at times, you may be taken back asking yourself —- “Really?”  As to the likes of our Slovenian “Turnip Pie” for example.  And, then you will make it, taste it and delight in its deliciousness!

Here’s our favorite recipe for…

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 small head of broccoli, washed, cutting mainly, bite size, florets for the soup      (you can buy the florets at your local grocery and use the stems if you wish)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienne thinly or grate
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

In a saute pan, melt your butter and saute the onions.  Set aside.
Melt the additional butter in the same pan and whisk in the flour for approximately 5 minutes.
Stirring constantly, slowly add the half and half.
Cook for approximately another 1 – 2 minutes.
Then, add the vegetable broth — as you continue to whisk the ingredients together.
Reduce your heat and simmer this for approximately 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the sautéed onions, broccoli florets and carrots.
Cook over a low heat until the vegetables are tender.
Approximately, 20 – 25 minutes.

Taste and add salt and pepper to your preference.

At this point some people like to puree it in a blender or use your infuser blender (my favorite!).
We just eat it like this because the florets are bite size.

The soup should be a nice consistency.
Over low heat, now add the shredded cheese stirring until it is well blended.

Serve it in a hollowed out mini round bread or just serve it with some delicious crusted bread!

Top with a little of the shredded cheese and as always…..

Enjoy!

 

Serve with some delicious crusted bread ;)
Serve with some delicious crusted bread 😉

Filet Mignon Roast & Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

This is truly one of my favorite cookbooks!  It is by a chef I absolutely adore!…. the one and only, Julia Child!  I have such respect and deep, soul, “cooking passion” emotion for this woman it is hard to put into words.

That said, this is one of those cookbooks that I refer to often and give as gifts to new brides, friends & family members.  My personal little green, hard back version is precious to me and it is centrally positioned in my “creating” kitchen.  

Her famous, very detailed, 2 Volume Set, my husband Bob, gave to me as a gift one Christmas.  So special!  It was written with Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck — “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes I and II.”  I also cherish these cookbooks —  for just the mere pleasure of reading and “dream” cooking with them.   
This book however… is always near me… my favorite… my little green one.

In describing Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom book, I will use her words:
“This book aims to give quick, snappy answers to many…questions.”
“It is, rather,  a mini-aide-memoir for general home cookery…. “
“It began as my loose-leaf kitchen reference guide gradually compiled from my own trials, remedies, and errors — corrected as I’ve cooked my way through the years.  Now that it has evolved into a book, information is arranged according to the large categories of soups, eggs, bread, and so forth, with the emphasis on technique.”
As for the essential techniques, “….in the roasting section for instance, the master recipe, though brief, details the technique.… Once you have mastered a technique you hardly need look at a recipe again and can take off on your own.”

And only as Julia can express with her heart on her sleeve… “My own little loose-leaf served me well, and I am hoping this book version will give you too, as well as me, many of the essentials needed for brief instruction and problem solving.”

Here’s a recipe selection under the category of “Meats, Poultry and Fish” — Technique, Roasting — Master Recipe: Our Filet Mignon Beef Roast!

This is a tried and true, favorite family recipe – used throughout the course of the year and consistently for our New Year’s Eve Celebration which I call…. “Foodie Wish Fest Celebration!”

To note… this recipe is always delicious and perfect —— every time!  
Enjoy!!  From our family to yours!
Or as Julia would say…..  “Toujours bon appetit!”  


Family Filet Mignon Roast* – A Foodie Wish Fest Celebration Favorite


Roasting time at 325 degrees – preheat oven

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt & pepper, freshly ground

For the Deglazing Sauce
1/2 cup each – carrots and onions, chopped
1/2 cup plum tomatoes, fresh, chopped
 2 cups beef broth

Rub the exposed ends of the roast with oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Arrange the roast in a roasting pan and set in the lower third of the preheated oven.

After 1/2 hour, baste the ends of the roast with accumulated fat, strew the carrots and onions into the pan, and baste with the fat.

Continue roasting, basting again once or twice, to a meat-thermometer reading of 125 – 130 degrees at the large end – for medium rare.  
We prefer to roast it until medium – 140 degrees / medium well.   December 2012, 160 degrees was perfect for us!

Remove the roast.

Spoon fat out of the roasting pan.

Scraping up the coagulated roasting juices, stir in the tomatoes.
Blend in the beef broth and boil several minutes to sauté the tomatoes and create a concentrated flavor.
Correct the seasoning, strain and pour into a warmed sauceboat.

Enjoy!


*from the book’s recipe: Roast Prime Ribs of Beef

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