With all the festivities coming up for the New Years evening, I thought I’d share with you a soothing, warm-your-soul soup like this Cream of Broccoli Soup with Butternut Squash, Pancetta and Feta. It’s perfect for the day after.
My go to soup to soothe what ails you, Cream of Broccoli Soup is a perfect and healthy way to get back on your feet. I added a few of my favorites to spruce this up a little and give it some tooth.
Besides visually looking beautiful, it makes for a light meal with a salad, or as a first course.
A classic French way to thicken a soup is to start with a roux. Roux, pronounced RU, is a cooked mixture of equal parts flour and butter. It is the thickening agent of three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: sauce béchamel, sauce velouté and sauce espagnole. I use it all the time to add that extra richness and the thickening aspect it brings to soups and sauces.
This is a version of my Cream of Broccoli Soup and with a little chopped and pan rendered pancetta, which could easily be swapped out for bacon, is great. A rich in textured roux based broth gets blended with steamed broccoli. I like to keep some out and chop them for toppings, too.
As for toppings I thought besides the salty pancetta a nice and colorful butternut squash gets cubed and steamed along with the broccoli in the microwave for quick meal. A sprinkling of feta cheese finishes off this for a nourishing and filling meal. Enjoy!
- 6 cups coarsely chopped broccoli
- 1 cup butternut squash cubed
- 8 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 onion chopped fine
- 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg optional
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half cream
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1 cup cooked pancetta or bacon crumbled (8 slices)
- Steam broccoli and butternut squash separately or place them each in a microwave safe glass dish covered with a damp paper towel and cook on high for 3 minutes.
- immediately chill under cold water to keep color and stop the cooking process. Set the cubed butternut squash aside. Separate the broccoli into 2 batches, reserving 1/2 cup for garnishing. Set aside.
- Brown the chopped pancetta in a medium sauté pan until crispy, drain and set aside.
- To make the roux, melt the butter in a large stock pot. Add the flour and whisk to allow flour to absorb the butter and turn a light golden color, cooking and bubbling for several minutes on medium-low heat. Add white pepper and chicken stock, and whisk constantly to ensure thorough incorporation and no lumps. Season with kosher salt.
- Bring the thickened chicken stock to a boil and add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, then add the nutmeg and steamed broccoli only.
- Using a soup ladle, add soup to a blender along with the half and half cream and puree until smooth. Puree with lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Pour this mixture back into the stock pot to simmer and keep warm until serving.
- Serve with remaining steamed, chopped broccoli, butternut squash, pancetta and feta cheese on top.