Tag Archives: broccoli

Fits Just Right

Cheesy Brassica Soup

My kitchen now has LIGHT!  Since buying my house many moons ago I had been dealing with a rather dark interior galley style kitchen that was lit by one 4×4 recessed light.  This recessed light was not one of those nice “let there be light” versions, but rather the kind frequently found over the shower in middle school locker rooms across the nation.  So not only did I suffer from no light, I also had to deal with everything being tinged a sickly yellow shade.  Not anymore!!!  Now my kitchen has three (3!!) gorgeous modern normal recessed lights and I can finally see what I’m doing in the kitchen at all  hours of the day.  There are a few more things left on the kitchen to-do list, but having these new lights is enough to satisfy me for now.  For some reason it seems that doing one project seems to push me towards other projects, many of which are on the don’t really need but man would it be nice list.

This soup was one of the first things I made in my “new” kitchen, and with that I was finally able to appreciate how white cauliflower really is.    I also wanted to cook something a little different than normal, using some new-to-me herbs and another attempt at a cauliflower soup.  I number of years ago I tried recreating a delicious Curried Cauliflower soup and failed dramatically, killing my old blender and a nice white sweater in the process.  Since soupgate, I had avoided using cauliflower in anything but basic stir frys for fear of recreating the crime scene that featured cauliflower soup on the walls…ceiling…and dogs.  My new kitchen gave me the strength to get over my issues, knowing that with my new lights I would be able to see if the blender lid wasn’t fully sealed.   This time, I would be eating the soup instead of wearing it!

Fits Just Right



2 tbsp butter

1/2 tbsp thyme

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp cayanne pepper (optional)

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 leek, diced

2 cups broccoli florets

2 cups cauliflower florets

3 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Heat the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the spices, stir, and cook for 2minutes constantly stirring before adding the garlic and leek. Cook for 5-7 minutes, the leek should be starting to turn translucent.
  2. Add the broccoli and cauliflower, cook for 7-10 minutes stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Allow some browning on the broccoli/cauliflower before adding the vegetable stock. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil before covering and turning heat to low. Allow to simmer for 30minutes.
  3. Use blender to puree mixture, then add the milk and more vegetable stock if you prefer a thinner soup. Slowly start adding the cheese, stirring frequently to insure the cheese melts into the soup instead of sticking to bottom of the dutch oven.
  4. Cover and simmer for a final 10minutes. Serve!

Perfection!  I served this with some left over English Muffin bread to make sure none of the soup escaped by hanging on to the side of the bowl.   In the end I did decide to use my immersion blender instead of my pretty pink blender, just didn’t feel like tempting fate.  If you decide to add salt or pepper, make sure to wait until after adding the cheddar cheese to avoid a salty mess.

One Fish, Two Fish

Pasta with Anchovies and Broccoli

I’m not sure when I first stumbled upon Dom and Belleue’s Kitchen, but it was back before the amazing kitchen transformation.  Random Recipes was one of the first link-ups I thought about joining after discovering the fun of International Incident Party, yet it has taken a long long long time for me to actual join in.  The idea is rather simple, randomly select a cook book and a recipe and then COOK!  I’m coming in just under the wire this month and I’m thrilled that I finally got my act together so that I could finally participate.

To obtain a random cookbook I asked the husband to just grab me one, he assigned numbers to them and then I called out a number which gave me the Essential Pasta Cookbook.   This month Random Recipes had an extra “rule” to pick something from the middle of the cookbook.  Halfway thru the book, on page 152 to be exact, are two delicious pasta recipes: Pasta with Anchovies and Broccoli and Pasta with Creamy Mushroom sauce.  I have done variations of the mushroom sauce more times than I can count meaning that the time had come to cook some anchovies.  I did make one alteration to the recipe, switching the cream for half&half, but everything I everything else exactly as written.

Overall it was a great dish, the broccoli and anchovies really did go well together and it came together extremely quickly.  In the future I’ll probably add more pepper to balance out the salt of this dish, that or half the amount of Parmesan Cheese.  This cookbook is one that tends to stay on the shelf but I think I might need to bring it out more often and see what other goodies are hiding in it.

Make sure to check out Dom’s round-up page for the rest of the entries!

Play on Words

Singapore Noodles

Honeymoon time!!!  While you are reading this Joe and I are (probably) on a plane heading over to the first part of our honeymoon journey: Vienna, Austria.  Later we will be hopping the pond to London just in time for the Queen’s Jubilee.  This is going to be an amazing trip for so many reasons, needless to say I’m very excited.

In recipe news I have a number of fresh veggie recipes lined up for while we are gone, still trying to keep my promise of using more seasonal and local produce.  This week the local market had broccoli, carrots, greens, and a few early varieties of squash.  I got a little bit of everything, originally thinking I was going to do a stir fry. Then I went to the Asian Market and saw some great looking rice noodles, and decided to try something new.  There is an amazing restaurant near my house that specializing in Burmese cooking and I decided to attempt to recreate my favorite dish: Singapore Street Noodles.  The description in the menu reads “thin rice noodles stir-fried with curry masala and vegetables” with the option of adding a protein.  I switch off between tofu and extra veggies, and for my version I decided to keep with the veggie version.

Singapore Noodles


3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1 lb thin rice noodles

2 zucchini, 1/4in round cuts

1 cup kale, well washed and roughly torn

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup carrots, 2in pieces

1/2 cup vegetable stock


  1. Cook the pasta per instructions on bag/box. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large wok. Add the curry, stir, and cook for 1minute. Add the carrots, stir, and then cook for five minutes before adding the remaining vegetables and vegetable stock.
  3. Cover the wok, and cook for 10minutes stirring and adding more liquid as needed. Once the vegetables are tender, add the noodles then toss well and serve!

Once finished we added some sriracha sauce to our bowls, since we tend to like things on the HOT side.  This dish is easily becoming part of our rotation, it’s quick and easy plus the vegetables can be rotated in and out based on what is in season.

Falling Down

Pasta Primavera

Spring time is…fresh vegetables, gorgeous greens, and thunder storms.  The rain this year has been rather constant which is probably why my garden is still alive at this point.  I’m hoping that will still be the case when Joe and I return from our honeymoon.  My little sister will be staying with the fur children while we are gone, and will also be monitoring the progress of our garden.  I’m hoping that by time we return the carrots will have sprouted and that the squash will have doubled in size.

This recipe is essentially a salute to everything I love about spring, simple crisp and quick to make.   Originally I wasn’t going to include the tomatoes, since they aren’t a spring vegetables, but I couldn’t resist the heirloom hothouse cherry tomatoes at the market.   The burst of red among the greens created the perfect POP of color, so in the end I’m glad that I caved to temptation.

Pasta Primavera


1/2 lb farfalle or similar pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

3 basil leaves, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup carrots, cut in to 3in pieces

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 lb asparagus, broken in to 4in pieces

1/3 cup half & half

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup Mozzerella Cheese

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining, and returning pasta to their pot.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and basil and cook for 5minutes, the basil should shrivel while the garlic should be beginning to brown. Add the carrots, cook an additional 5 minutes, and then add the remaining vegetables.
  3. Cook the vegetables for about 7 minutes, then turn heat to medium-low and add the cream stirring well. Slowly stir in the reserved pasta water along with the cheeses. Allow to simmer over medium low heat for 2 minutes before pouring over the pasta. Toss well and serve!!!

This is one of those recipes where so any different vegetables could be used, based on what is in season.   During the summer I tend to replace the asparagus with various types of summer squash, again adding bright pops of color to an already colorful dish.

I’m happy to report that I do have a number of posts all set to go for once we head over the pond!  I can’t wait to see my family in Vienna again, and I’m also looking forward to my first time in London.  I follow a number of UK-based blogs and seeing all of the Jubilee themed posts that are popping up is making me all the more excited for that part of our honeymoon!

Welcome Back

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Sorry for the slight disappearing act, I kept starting this post and then life would get in the way again.  I think I have finally finished my holiday shopping and now if my wonderful cold will go away I can enjoy the rest of the month!  I have been testing and playing with some new recipes lately, but things keep falling short of my goal.  I’m just gonna blame it all on my cold and hope that once I’m feeling back to normal my recipes will start cooperating again.  Until then I’m reworking tried and true recipes which are working the way they should.  This recipe is a rework of my Broccoli Carrot Soup, which I posted to Recipe52 many moons ago.  Essentially it’s a hardy Broccoli soup that’s low on the cream but high on the warm and filling which is essential this time of year.  As an added bonus it can easily be converted to a Slow Cooker which is also great this time of year when the To-Do list is never ending but the days are never ending.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Serves: 5


2 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, diced

2 leeks, diced

1.5 lb broccoli florets, rough cut

2 cups low sodium vegetable stock, divided

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup half & half

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and leek and cook 5minutes until garlic begins to brown.
  2. Add the broccoli and cook about 5minutes, broccoli should be soft and starting to wilt. Add the vegetable stock cover and simmer for 20minutes.
  3. Remove the cover and use an immersion blender to puree the broccoli until desired thickness, then add the milk and half&half. Slowly add the cheese, allowing it to slowly melt into the soup. Cover and cook for a final 10minutes stirring frequently and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

If doing this in a slow cooker add all the ingredients minus the cheese and cook on low for 7hrs, then turn to high add the cheese and cook for a final 30minutes.  I find this soup works best when adding the pepper and salt after the cheese, especially if a super sharp cheddar is being used.