Roasted Broccoli Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

I admit that broccoli soup didn’t sound very appealing at first, but this one from Daniel Gritzer at Serious Eats turned out really great.  This is mainly because oven roasting the broccoli gives it a great depth of flavour and using buttermilk instead of cream keeps it (relatively) light without compromising on the creamy consistency. The soup itself is already quite good on its own, but the fresh/spicy/crunchy topping really enhances it.

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Break down a couple heads of broccoli (about 1kg /2 pounds) into florets and slice the stems and toss them with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and place them on 1 or 2 baking trays
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It will take about 25 to 30 minutes at 190C/375F to get the broccoli tender and browned around the edges
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Combine the roasted broccoli with onions and garlic that have been sautéed in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until soft (about 5 minutes) and to which 1/2 tsp each of coriander seeds and red pepper flakes was added in the last minute or so.  After adding 1.5L / 6 cups of vegetable stock and 375ml / 1 1/2 cup buttermilk and bringing the mixture to a simmer, you will need to take it off the heat and blitz the soup in batches using a blender or Magimix until fully puréed (it took me about 4-5 minutes per batch to get the right consistency). Drizzle in total 4 tbsp of olive oil while the blender is running and return to a clean pan to gently reheat. Add more vegetable stock if necessary to thin to a creamy soup consistency (I didn’t need to) and season to taste.
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In the meantime toss 150gr / 1 cup pumpkin seeds together with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Season with salt and transfer to a parchment-lined baking tray and roast in a 175C/350F oven until fragrant, about 15 minutes. Let cool and scrape the toasted pumpkin seeds into a mixing bowl and stir in 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley, zest of 1 lemon, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to get a delicious topping for the soup.

Recipe accuracy:
The recipe was easy to follow and timing was accurate, although I do recommend to use above oven times to get a good toasting on the broccoli and spiced pumpkin seeds. It serves indeed about 10-12 portions, so you may want to use half the quantities if you don’t want to eat the soup more than 3 days in a row (or freeze a couple of portions).

Verdict: 9/10;  definitely worth making again

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