Of all vegetables, broccoli is the most fun. It’s nothing more than little trees, am I right, kids? You can dress it up with cheese, dress it down with ranch. Roast it, dip it, crunch it, top it. (Even more fun when you say that last line to the tune of Beyonce’s Check On It. Fun and dorky are such close cousins. This reminds me of the time Cute Banker and I, pregnant at the time, made up our own lyrics to All the Single Ladies. “Up in the club, Just broke up” became “In the mom club, Got knocked up…” Where is this post going?? Back to broccoli.).
Broccoli is so versatile, you can even puree it. I’m on the hunt for a great broccoli soup recipe.
I tried it with full-fat dairy as a base. It was bland and, frankly, too rich. I couldn’t believe it either.
I tried it with pureed baked potatoes as the base. Not rich enough.
I tried to punch up the flavor with aromatics but it really called for big guns like wine and butter.
I like to see little bits of green so I know what I’m eating. I need a recipe that calls for a lot of broccoli. And cheese! Can’t forget the cheese. And maybe a bread bowl!
As I’m trying different recipes out, I’m forced to eat the results entirely myself (kids don’t go for “just okay” soups. They’d better be sparkling or it’s hunger strike time. Ditto husbands.)
How have I confronted this dilemma of oceans of white, bland, and yet paid-for-and-therefore-I’m-darn-well-gonna-eat-it soup? I will tell you! With a product I have snobbishly (and ignorantly) shunned my entire life: crispy fried onions! I bought a can of them for something a while back and it was a revelation. The onions are crispy, salty, rich, caramelized, totally satisfying bits of goodness!!
I’ve been inventing ways to use them ever since. They can, obviously, top casseroles and green beans, we all knew that. But they are fantastic on top of mashed potatoes, pan-roasted fish, and, yes, bland, white, wanna-be broccoli soup!
Get a can and see what dishes you can trick your kids into eating too! (Honestly, they will just pick the crispy onions off the top. Please send me a good broccoli soup recipe so I can end the madness).