Cream soups are based on purees of meat, poultry, vegetables or fish, flavored with a little butter, thickened with roux*, and finished off with a little heavy cream. In preparation of the basic puree, whether meat, vegetable or fish, the electric blender can save time and effort.
*Roux is 2 to 3 parts flour to 1 part butter. Butter in a roux serves to bind the flour, preventing the mix from clumping with the addition of liquid. Then, as the liquid heats, the butter melts and releases the flour onto the liquid. The flour will go into suspension and thicken liquids just below boiling. Therefore, you must bring your soup to a boil after an addition of flour or any ingredient dusted with flour.
Make a roux with 1 tablespoon of the butter and 2-3 tablespoons of flour in a heavy pot, cook over moderate heat for 3 minutes, stirring continuously, and set aside.
4 cups fresh broccoli florets, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream (for boiling)
1/2 cup of seasoned croutons
Ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 tablespoons flour
Cut the broccoli florets from the stems. Peel the tough outer skin from the stems and trim off the fibrous ends. Cut the stems lengthwise into slices about 1/2 inch thick and then crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sized stock pot and sauté onion until tender. Add broccoli florets, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until broccoli is very soft.
Puree the broccoli mixture through a food mill or electric blender on high speed for 10 seconds, return to the pot, add the roux and the heavy cream, simmering gently until heated through.