Large heavy based pot like Le Creuset
Food Processor, High Speed Blender or Stick Blender
Large 2 litre jug or bowl
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 leeks medium, white parts only, chopped into 1cm slices
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 potatoes medium or 1 large (approx 250g), peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 kg broccoli (approx 4 heads)
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 4 c chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2 c water
- 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 1.5 c cheddar cheese or tasty cheese, grated
- sea salt to taste, at end
- 3/4 c sour cream or cream optional
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy based pot over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and salt. Cook for 8 minutes until leeks are softened (turn heat down if they are starting to brown as we only want to sweat them, not colour them) - stir occasionally. Add potatoes, garlic, ground pepper and chilli flakes. Stir through and cook 2 minutes longer.
While this is all cooking, prepare the broccoli: Wash the broccoli thoroughly. Trim about 1-2cm off the bottom of each broccoli stalk to remove the tougher ends and discard. Now cut the broccoli florets from the top of each of the heads. Do this by cutting as close as you can to the florets (see photos). Cut the broccoli florets into smaller pieces (2 cm) and set aside. Take the stalks and cut them into 2 cm pieces.Once the potatoes have been cooking for 2 minutes, add the chopped broccoli stalks, stock and water. Stir everything together, turn the heat up and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium/low, cover the pot with a lid (tilt the lid so it’s not completely closed) and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the potato pieces are soft. Add the chopped broccoli florets, stir and cook for 5-8 minutes longer or until florets have softened.
It's now time to process the soup. If using a stick blender, you may not get as smooth a texture as you would in a food processor or high-speed blender. If using a food processor or high-speed blender, please take care when processing hot liquids. Allow the soup to cool for 5-10 minutes. I always take my feeder cup attachment off and place a damp tea-towel or paper towel over the hole so that steam can escape without soup going everywhere. Do not overfill the bowl - blend the soup in batches. Follow manufacturers instructions for processing hot liquids.
Process the soup using a stick blender or my preferred way is to use a high-speed food processor or blender. If using a food processor, blend the soup in batches - I did mine in 3-4 batches in a large food processor. Do not overfill the bowl - only 1/2 fill it. Process until it is a smooth consistency. Pour blended soup into a large jug and continue with remaining batches. Clean the empty pot and pour the blended soup back into it. Add the grated cheese to the soup and stir through while it is still warm. Add sour cream or cream (if using) and stir. Taste and season with extra salt if required.
Garnish with your topping of choice (see notes for suggestions) and serve with breads or rolls.(makes approximately 2 litres)Storage: Store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Once cold, the soup can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
The thing I love about this soup is all the different garnishes that can be added to it. You can customise it to suit your taste-buds and change the whole meal. I often make a big batch of this soup and serve it over 2 nights with different toppings. Here are some suggestions:
Or a combination of some of the above! I love recipes that you can tailor to suit what you have in your pantry or fridge.
- Crispy bacon, pancetta, chorizo or proscuitto.
- A gremolata crumb topping - breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley.
- Crunchy toasted croutons.
- Crispy fried and seasoned potato cubes.
- Crispy oven roasted broccoli florets.
- Chopped and toasted nuts eg. pistachios, almonds or hazelnuts.
- Dollop of sour cream or a swirl of cream.
- Toasted pinenuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese, vegan cheese or extra tasty/cheddar cheese.
- Pan-fried prawns (chopped or whole) , scallops or moreton-bay bugs - yum!
Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 883mg | Potassium: 1107mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2147IU | Vitamin C: 169mg | Calcium: 327mg | Iron: 3mg