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Broccoli soup with parmesan toasts

Serves 6-8/ Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • For the soup:
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head of broccoli, with stalk
  • 800ml – 1L (1 ¼ – 1 ¾ pints) hot vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 175ml (6fl oz) double cream
  • For the parmesan toasts
  • 8 slices good-quality white bread
  • 75g (3oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a medium to large saucepan, and add the potatoes and onion, salt and pepper. Cover with a piece of butter wrapper or greaseproof paper and sweat over a gentle heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli florets from the stalk. Using a small knife, remove the outer layer of skin from the stalk and discard, then chop the stalk into 1cm (1/2 in) pieces. Add to the onion and potato and sweat for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the hot stock to the potatoes, onion and broccoli stalk, bring up to the boil, then add the chopped florets. Boil without the lid over a high heat for 4-5 minutes until soft, then add the cream. Remove from the heat, liquidise and season to taste.
  4. To make the Parmesan toasts, toast the bread on both sides, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and pop under a hot grill or into a hot oven for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Cut the toast into fingers and serve on the side with the soup.