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A Few of My Favourite Things!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Broccoli Soup

During his childhood, my husband was fortunate enough to do quite a bit of travelling with his parents. His mother, a journalist, was often invited to conferences and young A. skipped school to tag along to exotic places such as Turkey, Syria, Greece and Jordan, living out of a suitcase from one swanky hotel to the next. Part of this experience, of course, meant that room service meals became the norm.

In general, these meals tend not to be ground-breaking in their execution nor are they, generally-speaking, comforting home-styled dishes. However, there is one dish that has remained in A's memory, one meal that he has spoken of often with fondness - broccoli soup. Now, he doesn't remember exactly where they were staying at the time (he was only 8 years old, after all), but thinks that it was either at The Sheraton in Istanbul or The Marriot in Athens. Both A. and his mum enjoyed the soup so much that they put in a second order for it.

It almost sounds like too simple dish to invoke such strong memories but seeing as it's been with him all these years, I wanted to recreate the soup for A. This task was, of course, made difficult by the fact that although he remembers that it was a wonderful soup, there aren't too many other details to go by.

I started out by steaming two heads of broccoli and boiling several small potatoes until tender. The onions and leeks were cooked until softened, then 2 tablespoons of flour were added and cooked for a few minutes. The onion/leek mix, broccoli and potatoes were added, together with salt, pepper, dried basil, to about 4 cups of vegetable stock and pureed until smooth. The verdict: we both loved the way the soup turned out - thick and creamy without the need for any dairy. This one's a keeper!

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