I call this soup “Free” because most of the ingredients come from trimmings I won’t throw away; the broccoli and the chicken stock are both “free”! About all I pay for is the milk added at the end, but I think it tastes very fresh and fancy.
Any time you work with fresh broccoli, don’t throw the stems away! Trim the woody end off the bottom of the stalk and peel. Cut the stems and stalks into small pieces and store in a quart size freezer bag in the freezer. When the bag is full you’re ready to make a quick soup.
4 cups broccoli stems and stalks, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup Rich Chicken Stock
1 cup 1% low-fat milk (or half-and-half)
Salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese or Goldfish Crackers, optional
1. Steam the broccoli until very tender. I put it in a four cup glass measuring cup with a couple of tablespoons of water, cover it with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for about 3 or 4 minutes.
2. Working in batches or with an immersion blender in a saucepan, blend the broccoli with the chicken stock until very smooth.
3. In a medium saucepan, stir in the milk and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. If desired, top with a little shredded cheese. Goldfish crackers make great croutons, too.