Valentineís Day brings our attention to the heart, and this velvety soup flavored with garlic and mellowed with olive oil encourages healthy hearts while offering cruciferous anti-cancer benefits as well. All of this good nutrition in such a sensuous soup! A simple Italian peasant recipe for your better health:
2 bunches broccoli (about 3 pounds)
1/2 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic, sliced (this sounds like a lot, but it mellows beautifully with slow-cooking)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 cups good-quality vegetable broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Toasted slices of French bread, for serving
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional, for serving
1. Cut off the broccoli florets and chop them. Trim off the bottom 2 inches of each stem, peel them, and thinly slice. Combine the broccoli, oil, garlic, thyme, broth, wine, and lemon juice in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.
2. Puree the soup with a handheld immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender and puree in batches. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls, passing the toast and Parmesan cheese.