Leek and Broccoli Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche

This recipe is from the Home Cooking Calendar  

A satisfying fresh bowl of home-made leek and broccoli soup served with a chunk of your favorite bread… is comfort in a bowl. Leek and broccoli have some health benefits and are a rich source of beta-carotene. Leeks being a member of the powerful Allium family (garlic, onions and chives) have anti-bacterial properties and useful for helping to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and also good for gout and arthritis. It was said, the Roman Emperor of Nero ate leeks every day to improve his singing voice and the Celtic soldiers wore leeks in their caps so they could recognize a friend from foe when on the battle field.

Broccoli being a member of the Cruciferous family is high on the list as one of the vegetables shown to have protective powers against cancer and also good for anaemia, stress and some skin problems.

Leek and Broccoli Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche

Ingredients:

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 2 medium leeks chopped, white and light green parts only (use the dark green parts for stock making)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 500g broccoli florets and stems cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 450ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 450ml whole or low-fat milk
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • salt

for the topping

How to make: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic, cook for a few minutes until softened but not brown. Add broccoli, stock, milk and bay leaf. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until broccoli is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together in a small bowl, creme fraiche or yogurt, lemon rind and juice, season with salt. Refrigerate untill needed.

Use a stick blender or transfer the slightly cooled soup to a blender (remove bay leaf), blend in batches until smooth. Return soup to the saucepan, season with salt to taste and gently re-heat.  Ladle soup into pre-warmed bowls and add a spoonful of lemon creme fraiche or yogurt, grate over some Parmesan cheese and serve.

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