A Broccoli Soup for Early Spring

broccoli soup for early spring

Most of the broccoli soups I’ve had in my life have been cream of broccoli, broccoli and cheddar, or something else heavy and salty. They’ve always been too much for me. Too rich, too unbalanced. Then, last week, the guys at The Bitten Word made a post about the Vegetarian Times’ Sesame-Ginger Broccoli Soup. This got me thinking of pairing broccoli with flavors that lift it up instead of weighing it down. I loved the concept– an easy soup to keep you warm, with fresh flavors.

This is a riff on that recipe. I’ve taken out the sesame and soy flavors, mellowed out the ginger, and added some citrus for acidity. All of the broccoli gets pureed, meaning the soup is entirely smooth, not chunky. This is a soup that tastes like broccoli, and not anything else, while hitting all the same notes– clean, light, and refreshing.

fresh ginger

This soup is one that’s perfect for the warmer weather of early spring. It gets brightened up with a little bit of ginger (you’ll barely taste it) and more than a little bit of lemon juice (you’ll definitely taste it). Using both the broccoli florets and the stalk gives the soup a light green color.

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

perfect chocolate chip cookies
 
It should come as no surprise that these cookies are featured in my first blog post. These are the cookies that I have been making for years, regularly and often, sometimes for myself and sometimes to fill requests from friends and family members. This is a recipe that I swear by. Sometimes I even keep a little extra cookie dough in the freezer, for those chocolate-chip-cookie-craving emergencies.

This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated, and the title is theirs: “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.” And, if you ask me, they are.

Browned butter brings depth of flavor to these cookies. The aroma alone is incredible. The dough is sweet, but balanced by a touch of salt and high-quality semisweet chocolate chips. And while the recipe may have a few more steps than the typical cookie, the ingredients are ones you’ll probably have at home, and the few extra minutes of work are worth it.

Last weekend, the Bay Area was hit with some pouring rain. Rain was much-needed after months of drought, but after a few days of drizzle, the gloom set in. This was the view from my kitchen window:
 
rainy northern california weather

To make the most of the weather, I went on a rainy-day walk. These cookies made the perfect snack after. I mailed a few to my little sister for Valentine’s Day, and she loved them, too.

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