Lean, Mean and Green Broccoli Spinach Soup

This recipe is from the post: Lean, Mean and Green Broccoli Spinach Soup

(Adapted from Michael Chiarello’s Very Green Broccoli Soup)
Makes 4-6 servings

3/4 lb. fresh broccoli
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 carrots, peeled and diced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme leaves
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade or low sodium
5 oz. baby spinach
2 teaspoons lemon zest, or the zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk, divided

Cut all the broccoli florets from the stems and stalk and set aside. Peel the tough outer skin of the stalk with a vegetable peeler and trim off the fibrous ends. Cut the stems lengthwise into about 1/2 inch slices, then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a small stock pot over medium heat and add the garlic. Saute until the garlic begins to lightly brown, then add the onion, celery and carrot. Add a pinch of salt and some pepper, and cook the vegetables until tender, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme leaves and stir, then add the broccoli stems, the stock and a bit more salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli florets, and half of the buttermilk, and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli florets and the stems are nice and tender, but not mealy.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree, using a stick blender and adding half the spinach, half the zest and half the nutmeg in two batches, pureeing in between. When the soup is smooth, return it to low heat, add the remaining buttermilk, stir and bring it just to a gentle simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a small dollop of yogurt and a little fresh thyme if desired.

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