I went to California Pizza Kitchen recently and had their artichoke broccoli soup. Isn’t it pretty?
I fell in love with it; the pepperiness, the creamy texture, the pretty little speckles from the broccoli. I couldn’t justify spending $7 on a bowl every time I went there, so I knew I had to find a recipe I could make at home. I wasn’t able to find the exact recipe from CPK, but I modified a broccoli cheese soup recipe and it turned out pretty darn close! And see, mine’s pretty, too :-D And it cost $7 for a whole pot full of soup!
My honey is working on being as vegan as possible so I’ve added some notes below for vegans :-)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (you can use margarine for a more vegan-friendly version)
- 1 cup white onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, white or black
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/16 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 14 oz frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
- 4 to 5 large canned artichoke hearts, about a half can, chopped into thirds
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (can be omitted for a less creamy/more vegan friendly version)
- 1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar, plus a little extra for garnish (can be omitted for a less creamy/more vegan friendly version)
- Croutons for garnish
In a large pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock or vegetable broth, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and artichokes; simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, let it cool for at least 5 minutes but up to 20 would be even better, and puree with a hand-held immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Pulse carefully if you’re hungry and impatient and risk blending it all at once like I did. Vegans and those looking for a more health-conscious soup can stop here! It tastes fantastic at this point. If you want it a little creamier and cheesier, read on.
Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.
Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle extra cheese and croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately. Serve with a side of sourdough toast if desired.
Makes 5 to 6 delicious cups :-D