A while ago, I posted a recipe for a delicious soup based on broccoli stalks. With the beautiful run of weather we’ve been having in Ireland over the last month or so, I decided to do a chilled version. I just love chilled soups but we get too few chances to savour them during our normal summers. The soup turned out to be quite delicious and I’m hoping the weather stays nice so we can enjoy it again.
I’ve left the type of stock up to yourself. If you want a vegetarian version, use a vegetable stock: otherwise use a nice chicken stock. I have specified white pepper, but this is mainly for aesthetic reasons, as this does not leave specks in the finished soup but don’t worry too much if you’ve only got black pepper: the flavour won’t be affected.
Makes: 4 generous portions
Preparation: 5 mins
Cooking: 20 mins
|Broccoli stalks (about 500g)
White wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh white pepper
Mint to garnish
Trim the dry ends and cut the stalks into small chunks. Place in a medium saucepan with the stock and add the butter. Crack a little white pepper into the pan. If you know that your stock is not salty you can add a little salt now, but it’s better to leave the main seasoning until the end.
Cover the pan and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer gently until the broccoli is soft (about 20-30 minutes). After about 10 minutes, add the leaves from the sprig of mint. Liquidise the soup and pass through a fine sieve. Add the cream. Put back on the heat, but don’t let it boil. Make the intial adjustment of the seasoning. Transfer to a jug or jar and chill in the fridge overnight.
Next day, add the vinegar, give everything a good stir and make the final adjustment of the seasoning. This soup tastes best well chilled, and your fridge may not be cold enough. You can cool the soup further by placing the bowl in ice water or putting it into the freezer for a short while before serving.
Meanwhile make the concassé. Seed the tomatoes and chop to about same size as the capers. Wash the cucumber and scoop out the seeds. Chop to the same size as the tomatoes. Rinse the capers to remove excess salt. Mix the tomatoes, cucumber and capers together, binding with the smallest amount of olive oil. Add a small amount of freshly ground pepper.
Serve in shallow soup dishes. Place a mound of concassé in centre of each dish. Carefully pour the chilled soup around the concassé. Garnish with a little mint. Enjoy!