A note on Gordon Ramsays’s Broccoli Soup

So my wife would be returning home tonight from her family trip and she requested a simple vegetable soup that didn’t require a stock base.   After looking around a bit, I found Chef Ramsay’s broccoli soup and some guidance notes at epicurious.com ( https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/gordon-ramsays-broccoli-soup-50090789 ); after watching Chef Ramsay’s video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KR44a_5v_A , I revised the researched recipe ingredient list to be:

1 large or two medium broccoli clusters (as fresh as possible)
3 t sea salt
12 c Water
Goat Cheese (2 slices per bowl)
Ground Black Pepper (4-5 turns on the grind to dust the goat cheese rounds
Walnuts (I used toasted pecans here about 5 per bowl)
1 cup of broccoli cooking liquid
Olive Oil (finishing drizzle over the soup serving)

Because there was 3 tsp of salt, that meant I was looking at potentially 12 cups of water (1/4 t salt per cup of water meant 12c*(1/4)t==3)

While Chef Ramsay pretty much just dumps the cut florets in to cook, I chose to spend a little extra time to peel the broccoli.  To do the

Peeling the broccoli before cooking

peeling, I just nicked my knife blade just under the tough top layer of broccoli ‘bark’, put my knife down and used my fingers to peel from bottom of the stem towards the florets.  This was a trick I learned from chinese cooking. Yes, it was time consuming, but that exposed the tender portions in the stem underneath the ‘bark’.

Collected peelings from two heads of broccoli….

So I got the broccoli into the rolling boiling salted water and cooked it for about 5 minutes with the lid on.

5 minute flash boiled broccoli

Once the cooked broccoli got loaded to the food processor with a slotted spoon, I filled the processor container about halfway  with the cooking liquid(that

Preparing to puree the broccoli into a ‘soup’ (1 1/2 cups of cooking liquid)

would be about 1 1/2 cups).  Upon doing a taste check of the ‘soup’, I decided I needed another 1/8 t of salt.  Based on how the thickness of the soup turned out, I think I would only use 1 cup of cooking liquid to get a bit more ‘body’.

In preparing to plate, I sliced a few rounds of fresh goat cheese following Chef Ramsay’s example of dipping my knife into the hot

fresh vermont goat cheese

cooking liquid and slicing into the cylinder of goat cheese.  I then put a few fresh toasted pecans to the bottom of the bowl and topped

garnished soup plate

each dish with two slices of goat cheese.  And then it was just a matter of ladling in the soup into both bowls.

broccoli soup, ramsay-style, finished with an olive oil drizzle

Once the soup distributed itself around the garnish, I drizzled a thin stream of extra virgin olive oil around the soup.  My wife felt the soup was a nice light starter to dinner and the broccoli flavors shone through with the contrasting flavors from the goat cheese and the tannins from the pecans.   I actually got a request to make this soup as the amuse guele starter for the Christmas dinner tasting menu!

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