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The CIA Cookbook
by The Culinary Institute of America
This velvety soup is the essence of broccoli. It's relatively simple to make, yet tastes very elegant and refined. Try serving this soup as a first course for company.
Makes 8 servings


• 2 lb broccoli
• 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
• 1¼ cups chopped onions
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1¼ cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 6 cups Chicken Broth
• 1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
• Fresh lemon juice, to taste
• Salt and pepper as needed

Separate the broccoli into stems and florets. Trim away the tough outer parts of the stems. Set aside 1 cup of the nicest-looking small florets for garnish. Coarsely chop the remaining broccoli florets and the stems.

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, leeks, and chopped broccoli. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir well to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. Gradually add the broth to the pot, whisking to work out any lumps of flour. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Stir frequently and skim as needed.

3. Remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool for at least 10 minutes before pureeing with a handheld blender.
Strain the soup through a sieve and reserve the liquid if you are using a counter- top blender or food processor. Add the solids to the blender jar or food processor bowl; do not overfill. Add a little of the liquid, replace the cover (without the vent from the lid or feed tube) and puree until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to help puree the solids. Transfer the pureed soup to a clean pot. Continue to puree until all of the solids are pureed. Blend the soup and adjust the consistency by adding some of the remaining reserved liquid. (The soup is ready to finish now or it can be cooled and stored up to 2 days in the refrigerator or up to i month in the freezer.)

4. Meanwhile, steam or boil the reserved broccoli florets until just tender.

5. Return the soup to a simmer over low heat and add the heated cream. Season to taste with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve in heated bowls, garnished with the florets.


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