This soup turns out really creamy without any added cream. The cauliflower blended creates a nice creamy base for this soup. The chick peas also add some creaminess and an earthy flavor. You can substitute white beans for the chick peas, I imagine the taste will be about the same. The key to success with any soup is in the quality of the ingredients you put in it! That said, be sure to find an extra virgin olive oil that has a smooth taste and no after taste, maybe one used for flavoring or salads. I like Carapelli. Next choose a chicken stock that is a good quality as well. I prefer Swanson. Also, as you develop the flavors in this soup, taste it as you go along. You can decide if you need more salt and pepper. Here are the directions.
Start by dicing up one small onion and adding it to a large pot. Drizzle the bottom of the pot with a good olive oil and saute the onions a few minutes. Then, put in a few (maybe 3) cloves of garlic, and saute these until translucent and then take off the heat.
Rinse about three spears of broccoli and discard of the stems (or use them in a salad). Rinse the cauliflower and cut it in half ( you don’t want too much), maybe 2 cups. Put the broccoli in a medium pot and add some water and bring to a boil. I usually turn the heat off and let it steam for 10 minutes, then drain it and rinse with cool water to retain the color. Then add the cauliflower to the pot and bring it to a boil and let it sit until it’s tender, turn off the heat and let it steam for 10 minutes. You want the broccoli and the cauliflower to be tender, but don’t overcook it because it will loose it’s nutrients. Be sure to put some broccoli aside for a garnish on the top of the soup.
Add about 2 cups (hold a half cup) of chicken stock to the large pot with onions and garlic and add the margarine. Then add the broccoli and cook on low a few minutes. Then blend the entire mixture in the blender in batches and add it back into the pot. Once the cauliflower is tender, add that the blender with about a 1/2 cup of chicken broth. I like to do it separately because when you blend the cauliflower by itself with some broth it becomes very creamy. You can add it to the pot as well. Put the heat on low. Add pepper and salt to taste.
I prefer using a large can of chick peas because we devour chick peas!!! You will only need about 1/2 the can, so a medium can is fine. Maintain a little bit of liquid so you can pulsate the chick peas with it. You want them slightly chunky. Add this to the pot next. Keep the heat on low. After about 15 minutes the soup is ready to serve. Put some in a bowl and add a little broccoli on the top, some pepper and a lot of parmesan cheese use a zester to get a fine shaving over the bowl of soup. This is soo delicious and earthy!