I know it's officially spring, but the reality is that it's really kinda winter still, with the occasional flash of warm, which in my book means that it's definitely still soup time! Actually, I eat it all year long--not only do I love it, but also, since it's generally low in calories, it helps to balance out all the desserts I "just taste"! Which means that's it's a perfect thing to be making this week, when we're trying to be healthy, right? Plus, it tastes great! Full of flavor and creamy, but there's not a drop of cream in this at all! I promise you're going to love it!
Do you know broccoli rabe? Sounds like that shifty neighbor who lives down the hall, right? But no, seriously, I have to confess that until I made this soup, broccoli rabe used to scare me. I just didn't know what the heck to do with it! Now we're great friends!
The "creaminess" in this soup comes from potatoes that get puréed and act as thickening agents and from low-fat buttermilk. And the whole thing comes together in a snap!
It's velvety smooth, hearty and full of flavor. And the heat of the soup makes the cheddar wonderfully melty! Perfect for lunch or a light dinner with some really good bread. And just the thing to tide us over until spring has actually sprung!
Broccoli Rabe Potato Soup with Cheddar
Makes about 8 servings
Prep Time: Less than 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped roughly
2 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 pounds potatoes (this is best with yellow potatoes like Yukon Gold) peeled and roughly chopped
1-2 shakes red pepper flakes
1 large bunch of broccoli rabe
2 cups buttermilk
Salt and black pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
1. Cut the leaves away from the stems of the broccoli rabe and throw out the stems. Chop up the leaves and set aside.
2. In a large heavy deep saucepan or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until it's softened and turning light brown, stirring now and then. Add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add in the stock, potatoes and red pepper flakes and stir. Partly cover the pot and let the mixture boil for 15-18 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for another few minutes, until wilted and tender.
3. Use a hand-held immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth or slightly chunky consistency (whichever you prefer). You could also transfer the soup to a blender or food processor but it is SO much easier to do with the immersion blender. After soup is blended, reheat and stir in the buttermilk, but don't let it boil or the mixture will curdle. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheddar. Serve immediately.
4. Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days and reheated.
Note: Recipe adapted from Soup for Every Body by Joanna Pruess.