Travel Diet Soup and Salad: Broccoli Soup with Crisp Parmesan
Cal-a-Vie, near San Diego, is one of the most elegant spas I have had the pleasure to visit. You will feel like you are in the French countryside thanks to the collection of antique French furnishings that grace the property. Food is a hallmark of the spa and with new chef Curtis Cooke look for new offerings like this tasty soup.
2 quarts broccoli florets (save stalks for stock)
½ gallon broccoli stock (recipe below)
2 teaspoons sea salt
In a large stock pot, bring a half gallon of water to a rolling boil. In a large bowl, prepare an ice bath with 60% ice and 40% water. Working in small batches, add one third of the broccoli florets to the boiling water. Cook the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Remove broccoli from the boiling water and immediately plunge it in the ice bath to stop the cooking and preserve the color. The goal is to get the broccoli as soft as possible and preserve its color. Continue until all of the broccoli is cooked and completely chilled. In a high speed blender, add the broccoli and some of the broccoli stock. Puree on high until completely smooth. Additional stock may need to be added until desired consistency is achieved. Add the soup to the stove and gently bring up to temperature over medium heat. Season with salt.
For the broccoli stock:
8 broccoli stalks
1 each yellow onion, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 each bay leaf
6 each black peppercorns
3 quarts water
In a large stock pot, add all of the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and chill completely.
For the crisp parmesan:
1 cup parmesan, grated
Pre-heat an oven to 400 degrees. Spread the grated parmesan, thinly, on a silicon mat lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 5 minutes or until the parmesan is bubbly and golden brown. Cool the parmesan down. Crumble in to bits for garnish.
*recipe courtesy of Chef Curtis Cooke