pureed broccoli & Celery soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
  • 2 pounds broccoli, mostly crowns, chopped; stems, if using, peeled and diced
  • 6 ounces potatoes, peeled and diced, or 1/2 cup medium grain rice
  • 2 quarts water or vegetable stock
  • A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a Parmesan rind, and a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ ounces spinach leaves or baby spinach (1 cup, tightly packed)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chives, for garnish

Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onions and celery, cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 to 8 minutes until tender but not  browning. Add a generous pinch of salt and garlic, stirring until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the broccoli, potatoes or rice, water or stock, bouquet garni, and salt. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and stir in spinach. Add pepper and season with salt to taste. 

Using a hand blender, puree the soup. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, topping each bowl with chopped herbs.