Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Brussels Sprouts Can Be Sexy

This is the second installment of The Cream Soup Project.  Today's vegetable: Brussels Sprouts.

For some reason that is most likely horrible and unjust, Brussels Sprouts has a very bad reputation for being disgusting and unattractive.  They endure hatred across all generational and racial gaps.

I think this intense dislike stems back to poor preparation.  Somewhere, in someone's past, Brussels Sprouts were prepared improperly...resulting in a slimy, drab, chewy, rubbery, overcooked vegetable. There wasn't enough melted Velveeta cheese that could save it.  Understandable.  I'm the same way when it comes to liver.  I do not like it one jot...and I think it's because of how it was prepared when I was a child.  It's a difficult thing to let go of.

So I can understand people's aversion to this particular cruciferous, cabbagey vegetable.  And that's why this week's experimentation is so important.  Ranking right up there with quantum physics and curing cancer.

This is one pound of thawed Brussels Sprouts in the bottom of my blender.  Just before this, I sweated a half of an onion (chopped) and a clove of minced garlic with some olive oil.  Then, I added three tablespoons of flour for the roux before I whisked in three cups of chicken stock.  I let the sprouts simmer for 20 minutes...and that's where we are in the picture above.

After pureeing the mix for about a minute, I strained it back (don't omit this step!) into my saucepan, seasoned it with a little s & p, added a 1/2 cup of cream, and let the soup come back to a boil (to thicken properly).  Then, I whisked in a tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of lemon juice. 

Hard to tell from the picture, but the soup is a calm, quiet shade of pale green.
This and a toasted ham and cheese sandwich?  Give it up for the Om-nom-nomivores!

The strong flavor of the sprouts was muted in this soup...which is good for those of you who find the flavor off-putting.  And, the straining step and adding the cream and butter makes for a rich, silky soup...and a very sexy mouthfeel as well. 

Bottom line: The Husband and I liked this soup better than yesterday's Cream of Asparagus.  And considering how much we like asparagus around here, that is saying something.

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