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Now you know

I have a confession to make. It probably seems like I live and breathe to cook, right? It probably seems like I never get tired of stirring and whisking and chopping, like I go to sleep at night spooning the refrigerator and wake up each morning to find a skillet under my pillow and a rainbow arcing gently, benevolently, over the stove. But the truth is, there are many days when I would rather do anything than cook. ANYTHING. Like, hit-myself-over-the-head-with-the-aforementioned-skillet anything. Anything.

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of those days. At first, I thought it was because of my recent run of bad recipes. It’s hard to feel terribly excited about spending time in the kitchen after you’ve botched a number of meals in a row. Remember that Great White song, “Once Bitten, Twice Shy?” I sort of feel like that. I am also so overdue for a haircut that I’m starting to look like the lead singer in that video. This can’t lead anywhere good, I fear, especially because I don’t have a pair of leather chaps to complete the look.

But really, I think my problem is even bigger than that. I think my problem is peanut butter. I lose all motivation when there is a jar of peanut butter around. Given an adequate supply of sandwich bread, I will eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches indefinitely, to the near-complete exclusion of other foods. I might bake something sweet now and then - the occasional cookie or cake, maybe - but otherwise, it’s all peanut butter, all the time. I know this because it’s what my life has been like for approximately a month. I am a sick, sick woman. Now you know.

But Brandon, bless his optimistic heart, apparently believes that I am still capable of redemption, because he staged an intervention last week. He told me, quite simply, that I had to stop buying sandwich bread. I nodded solemnly. Not long after, I successfully made a salad. And yesterday, I made soup, a puréed broccoli soup with a lemony, chive-spiked sour cream to spoon on top. I feel better already. Good enough, even, to foresee another batch in my near future. And after that, I might get my hair cut.

The soup in question is something that I had once intended to include in the book, but I worried that it sounded too boring. I don’t know. Broccoli soup isn’t an easy sell. I had a friend try the recipe, and she loved it - so much so, she reported, that she had to stop herself from eating the lemon-chive sour cream by the spoonful - but still, I was worried. So I yanked it. I moved on. I made other soups, and I sort of forgot about it. But the other day, while leafing through some photographs from a couple of years ago, I found a shot of this soup, and I realized that I missed it. So yesterday, I made it again, and now I don’t know why I ever doubted it. It was delicious.

It’s a pretty quick, simple soup, as these things go. It was inspired by a couple of different recipes: one that I read somewhere for a fairly basic broccoli soup, and one that Brandon found in college, a recipe for a puréed broccoli soup with leek, served with an herbed sour cream. He tells me, incidentally, that it was the first soup he ever puréed. I don’t know how he remembers this kind of stuff. Obviously, the part of my brain that was made to store such things is filled with song lyrics by Great White.

Our joint version starts with some onion and leek and garlic softening in a pot, and then into that goes a decent amount of chopped broccoli, some stock, and the rind from a small piece of Parmesan cheese. It all simmers together for about twenty minutes, during which time you slice some scallions and chives and zest a small lemon. Then you take out a small bowl and stir the scallions and chives and lemon zest into some sour cream, along with a little lemon juice, grated Parmesan, and garlic. By this point, the broccoli should be tender, and the cheese rind should be soft and sticky, and the whole pot should smell fantastic, very savory and fragrant with Parmesan. You pull out the rind, purée the soup, stir in some of the sour cream mixture, and then you serve it with another spoonful of sour cream on top. It’s both mellow and bright, light and rich, soothing in parts and punchy in others, and, I think, ideal lunch material. It’s not peanut butter, but I almost don’t mind.

P.S. I built a little page to list my book signings, and if you haven’t yet seen it, click here. The book comes out next(!) Tuesday(!), and I’ll be at the University Book Store in Seattle that night.

Broccoli Soup with Lemon-Chive Cream

I like this “cream” best when made with sour cream, but I’ve also used plain whole-milk yogurt, and it’s very good that way too. If you do use yogurt, keep in mind that it has less fat than sour cream, so you’ll probably need to add some olive oil to balance the acidity of the lemon. (Or just use less lemon!) I also found that the yogurt-based “cream” needed a pinch of sugar to balance it.

Oh, and should you have some of the sour cream mixture left over, it makes a great dip for potato chips.

For the soup:
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, sliced
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 ½ lb. broccoli, both crowns and stems, trimmed and coarsely chopped
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 rind (about 2 inches square) from a piece of Parmesan cheese
¾ tsp. kosher salt, or less if your broth is well salted

For the sour cream:
1 cup sour cream (not low-fat or nonfat)
2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, very thinly sliced
¼ cup minced chives
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. pressed or minced garlic

In a small stockpot or Dutch oven, warm the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have softened and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for one minute. Add the broccoli, stock, Parmesan rind, and salt, and stir to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes.

While the soup cooks, prepare the cream. In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream, scallions, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, grated Parmesan, salt, and garlic, mixing until fully combined. Taste, and adjust as necessary.

To finish the soup, remove the Parmesan rind. Using a blender and working in small batches – when puréeing hot liquids, never fill the blender more than one-third full – purée until very smooth. (Alternatively, purée it in the pot with an immersion blender.) Return the soup to the pot, add a few dollops of the cream mixture – I add about 1/3 cup – and stir to incorporate. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary. If needed, rewarm the soup gently over low heat.

Serve the soup with a spoonful or two of the remaining cream on top.

Yield: 4-6 servings


Blogger Laura. said...

you seem way to well-rounded a person to only be obsessed with cooking. hurrah for the book! this soup looks amazing, and you are not alone in your p.b. habit :)

7:00 PM, February 24, 2009  
Anonymous nicole u. said...

i too have been obsessed with peanut butter and jelly! must be a winter thing...i'm hoping a quick weekend of southern california weather will put me back on track...congrats on the book! i'm bummed you're not coming to chicago...next time.

7:05 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Shauna said...

What a bold confession to make with your book coming out so soon. :) And I am so excited for said book I can hardly stand it!

Also, anything with sour cream is all right by me. Bookmarking this one!

7:05 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger michaela said...

this is great. just picked up some broccoli in the farm share from terry’s berries (terrysberries.com). i just wrote about putting rind from parmesan in soup (http://fineeats.blogspot.com/2009/02/thinking-spring-cooking-cold.html)!

7:24 PM, February 24, 2009  
Anonymous SummerLinds said...

yes! delicious! i love brocolli, although my fiance is staunchly in the 'peanut butter for every meal' group, it may also require an intervention.
also, please come to chicago! please!

7:28 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Alissa Nicolau said...

I've got a few things that I feel I need to share with you. Here goes...

I love your blog. Love it, love it. I make all sorts of yummy things for my family from your postings. Thank you.

My 3yr old son Hugo loves peanut butter to death. He calls it beanut putter tho. I actually want to make him a shirt with Beanut Putter on it. Have you tried Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter by Peanut Butter & Co? Yummy.

Lastly, I will so be there at your book signing in NYC. Can't wait!

7:32 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Hannah said...

I too remember my first pureed soup, but only because it was a total & complete disaster.
PS peanut butter rocks my socks too :)

7:43 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Amanda said...

My two-year-old is completely addicted to broccoli. As much as I love the veg, I'm getting really tired of it as our green side-dish at almost every meal. (Yes, he even asks for it at breakfast.) This soup sounds like just what the doctor/chef ordered!

P.S. Thank you for specifying no low- or no-fat sour cream. What exactly is the point of no-fat or low-fat sour cream anyway? If you're going to eat the stuff, do it right!

7:51 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I am in the same boat! Sometimes reading about good food is all I need to do - then I'm happy to have any old lazy food! Which is one reason why I'm looking forward to your book! I may just have to hop on the Clipper and come down to Seattle for one of your signings.

7:54 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger LadyConcierge said...

This is my kinda soup.

7:54 PM, February 24, 2009  
Anonymous Marlys said...

long-time reader; first-time commenter. i'm de-lurking to let you know that i just received my copy of your book (amazon pre-order) and it's spectacular! i stayed up way past my bed time last night reading it! congratulations - it's wonderful!!!

8:05 PM, February 24, 2009  
Anonymous CoryG said...

Giving up peanut butter? I understand. I myself am the honey and peanut butter on the spoon type...to the point where friends have accused me of getting them hooked on pb and I have to go through peanut butter free periods in my household. sigh. BUT I do have a great recipe for you, that keeps the pb jar out of your house, but you don't have to loose the flavor!
They're PB&J muffins and they're Deee-vine. Definitely make them with whole milk so they keep moist. Enjoy!

9:02 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Jesse said...

I am a die-hard fan of any soup with a parmesan rind in it... so - sold.

I think none of us are immune to the obsessions. After years of teasing my husband about his nearly daily nacho consumption, I've realized I have a sick sick need for pizza as often as possible. It can't be helped - we're all human. And love to eat.

9:04 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger MyLastBite said...

I hope, hope, hope you'll add L.A. to your book tour!

9:06 PM, February 24, 2009  
Anonymous Akiko said...

I just received a copy of your book in the mail today (pre-ordering is great!), and it's so wonderful. I've really enjoyed your recipes from Orangette and I'm sure your book will provide much more kitchen inspiration. Congratulations!!

9:49 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Kitt said...

Oh, that sounds divine.

Sorry you're not coming through Denver! Probably flying right over. *sigh* Have fun on your tour!

11:23 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Gemma said...

I've been pretty uninspired lately as well, maybe it's just February. This sounds like the ideal soup to get me out of my soup rut (cook loads of root veg in stock, blend - good but we could do with a change). Oh and turns out that Amazon in the UK has your book ready to send out so I get my copy today. Can't wait.

11:26 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Samarahuel said...

Bummer. Another week without an Orangette recipe, for my husband doesn't like broccoli, and I'm only tolerant of it when necessary. That's ok though, I'm glad you're cooking again.

My food obsession: sweet potatoes. It occurred to me just now, as I remembered that last night, while licking the spoon from some mashed sweet potatoes, I seriously thought, "Why don't I just bake up a bunch of these and eat one every day for lunch?" I could handle a week of spaghetti sauce for lunch, too. Gosh, I'm weird.

11:48 PM, February 24, 2009  
OpenID breakerbreaker said...

Ohhhh, HOT SHIT.

Make it bounce Molly.

11:59 PM, February 24, 2009  
Anonymous Gracia said...

It's impossible to find sour cream in Spain other than in restaurants... I'm tempted to bring a plastic container and pack some next time I eat out...
Anyway, PB seems to be a great people transformer. I go VERY unproductive if there's any aroud. Really. All I do is snack on it, then I'm not hungry to eat proper meals, then I snack some more and then all I've done at the end of the day is eating. Sad.

12:10 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger lexi said...

PB is banned in our home - because I have the same problem. We realised only recently that my addiction is actually to nut-based spreads, so Nutella is banned, too. Boo hoo. Lucky Nutella comes in those tiny single-serves with the paddle things at some stores, so I sneak one every so often. Broccoli definitely is the cure! An Italian Nonna told me to float pieces of cheese in hot Broccoli soup - it gets all melty and really amps it up. But I'm going to try with the sour cream now.

Congratulations on your book! Can't wait until it arrives here in OZ. Just the chapter titles have me pining for it.

12:29 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Lynne said...

Hi Molly, I already have your book! It arrived from Amazon yesterday. Haven't started reading it yet but it looks lovely.

12:50 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous la ninja said...

it's only 11 o'clock in the morning here and I NEED broccoli now!!! stop it!!! ;)

2:07 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger trupeach said...

this sounds glorious.
i will print the recipe out & hold on to it. then, tuck it inside your book when it arrives so it can be amongst its friends.

3:29 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Dana McCauley said...

Congrats on your book - I can imagine (as an author myself) that after being on tour and eating in restaurants and hotels for a few weeks that you will come home so anxious to cook that you'll just be a blur in the kitchen!

4:30 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Brian G. said...

I can live without peanut putter sandwiches, but I have a jar of peanut butter in my desk at work. I eat peanut butter on my apples much to the disdain of my coworkers, but it is a great combination. As good as apples and cheese.

Unless you have a staff to do all the clean up cooking wears on everyone because Joy(Cooking) = Joy(eating) + interest(prep) + cost savings - time(prep) - clean up - dishwashing. All of that is multiplied also by the frequency of success. That is why we go out to eat, even though its expensive. because it simplifies down to the meal and the cost. All of the prep and mess is taken care of.

5:07 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger shari said...

mmm. another soup recipe to try! i'm excited seeing that it is cold here-- six degrees this morning--and we always want soup. xox

5:26 AM, February 25, 2009  
OpenID pricklypearbloom said...

wow. broccoli has been my favorite vegetable for more years than I can even remember, and I never once thought to make it into soup. Maybe that's from some scarring experience with canned broccoli cheese soup. *shudder* I'll be making this asap.

5:40 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous meleyna said...

So good. I make pretty much this exact same soup, minus the cream, all the time.

6:14 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Mmmm...broccoli soup has always been a favorite in my life. I'm very excited to try your version.

I too am so thankful for pre-ordering, because I received your book on Monday! I've already read a few chapters / recipes and am completely hooked. You are such a beautiful writer. I am longing for Saturday so that I can stay in bed for hours and immerse myself in it... Thank you!

6:14 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Carly said...

Ohh, Molly! I received your book yesterday (amazon) and devoured it. I read about 2/3rds of it last night (while eating celery root soup which seemed very Orangette-appropriate) and cannot wait until tonight when I can return to it. It is beautiful, and you should be so so proud of it.

And on top of all that, you give a recipe for broccoli soup, one of my favorite, though, unglamourous foods in the world.

Thank you for all of the kitchen inspiration.

6:17 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Anne Zimmerman said...

I am sort of the opposite right now. I have been on a trip since Friday PM and am suffering major cooking and kitchen withdrawls. I have been eating H&H bagels for 5 days and would kill for a bunch of veggies, a saute pan and some good olive oil.
I will try to embrace your simplicity though!

6:32 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger hannah said...

i heart you crack cream. i really really do.

ps. OMG MY COPY ARRIVED YESTERDAY. i'll admit to doing some jumping up and down. i almost called you. EEEEEEE! that's what it would have sounded like. not so much of a productive phone call, right?

6:37 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Adrienne said...

You know, I'm with Gemma - I think it might be the February blahs. I'm glad you had this soup to pull you out of your pb junkie binge, though! The first soup I ever pureed was a broccoli soup, too, but it had carrots and cheddar cheese in it. I'll have to give this one a try. Also, just putting in one more little plug for Boston on the book tour... :)

6:39 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Phoo-D said...

I love broccoli but in soup it usually is too creamy, too cheesy, to overcooked for me to get very excited. This sounds like a perfect preparation.
P.S. Have you ever made peanut soup? I have an old recipe from Williamsburg that is quite delicious!

6:39 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Sara said...

Some weeks I would eat a baked potato everyday for dinner-peanut butter sandwiches wouldn't be bad.

I found your book last week when I was out and scooped it up. I loved it and finished it in 2 days.

6:53 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger teryll said...

my latest obsession is potatoes. in fact, i'm making potatoes for dinner this evening, patatas bravas, in fact.

i totally understand it when you're not in the mood to cook, especially when you're broked hearted over failed recipes. i get particularily upset about it.

6:55 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous deb said...

I selfishly feel like you wrote this just for me. I've been snared in a PB&J holding pattern for weeks (worse, boxed cereal for breakfast! the shame..) and it's killing my urge to cook. But, I stayed in bed for a while this morning and read the first four chapters of your lovely book and I'm feeling inspired again -- thank you!

6:57 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger jbeach said...

This soup sounds great for late winter. Thanks for the recipe!

7:01 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Kate said...

First, your book arrived on my doorstep on Monday, that's how good Amazon pre-order is! I'm taking my time with it though. I think it's a leisurely read instead of a devouring read, am I right? :)

Second, I love broccoli soup. Actually, I love broccoli. It's my desert-island vegetable. (What? Am I the only one to think about that? Books, music, veggies... Seems right to me.)

7:08 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Sarah Jane Reilly said...

also first time commenter. i'm gonig through a soup phase and love this recipe!! also - the dungeness crab table below is a scene right out of my san francisco life that i miss! amazing:)

7:09 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hi Molly,

Your book has magically already arrived at my bookseller in London! I'm giddy to go pick it up tonight and read it. You should come do a book event on this side of the Atlantic.

All the best,

7:13 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Chelsea said...

Maybe I'm strange, but I love broccoli, so the idea of a broccoli soup doesn't sound at all boring, especially with the sour cream;) The story of you and Brandon developing it together would have made for a great anecdote in your book. But I'm sure there are many others, I can't wait to see!!

7:22 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger City Girl said...

Loved this post. Congratulations on the book :)

7:48 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger City Girl said...

O-M-G I just saw that your book is ready to ship at Barnes and Noble.com - I am so ordering it right this minute :)

7:52 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Miss Wahoo said...

Your soup sounds very good, but it's that lemon-zested sour cream that I really want. But I've added broccoli to the grocery list.

And it was nice to read the piece about you in this morning's Seattle Post-Intelligencer! I hope the Times will do a feature on you as well.

8:04 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Cate said...

Molly, that sounds gorgeous. After years of disdaining broccoli, I'm finally coming around to it and am still just realizing what I've been missing. Roast broccoli, the florets caramelized just so; steamed broccoli, so I can feel like a late 80s health nut. And broccoli soup!

I'm so excited for your book event in New York! It's the night before we embark for a week's vacation, and I'm thrilled to have a copy for the long ride to Ireland.

8:09 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous lisaiscooking said...

I'm a big fan of broccoli soups, and this sounds like a winner.

8:14 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Burp and Slurp~! said...

this soup looks amazing. I just love that it's green! haha!
PB is definitely addictive! what about trying different nut butters like almond, cashew, or macademia?

8:22 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Megan said...

I will be in Portland from Chicago visiting my brother on the 27th. Should I drive to Olympia for the evening is the question... I should, right? It's not *that* far.

8:40 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger redmenace said...

Sometimes, I will come home at the end of a long work day just starving. On these days, I go straight to the cabinet with the peanut butter jar. I take a big spoonful and put it in my mouth. Who needs bread?

8:46 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Marilyn said...

I agree with Kitt - we'd love to see you in Denver! It's a lovely place, really, it is!

8:58 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Mary said...

Molly- I got your book from amazon yesterday afternoon. I adore it. I love it. I'm smitten. You are my new Laurie Colwin- and even better. I'm on page 253, and I will finish it this afternoon and cry. then i will proceed to start it again. Your book is as warm and comforting and tasty as the french onion soup I ate as I read it. I hope you have a long career publishing foodie books- I look forward to reading them all!

9:04 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous catherine at unconfidentialcook.com said...

Broccoli is one of the few greens Mr. I-Hate-Vegetables eats--I usually roast it with a bit of olive oil and a lot of kosher salt. I wonder how your soup--which looks amazing!--would be if I did that, and put the broccoli in a little later so it doesn't lose all its roasted flavor steeping in the stock.....Will give it a try. Thank you!

9:28 AM, February 25, 2009  
OpenID flaxenlenape said...

At least you are civilized enough to put your peanut butter on bread... I usually just grab a spoon.

Some days, figuring out what to eat is just too much of an effort... and peanut butter is just too good.

9:31 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous SP said...

Hi Molly! I'm a fond reader of your blog and just got my pre-ordered copy of your book yesterday. I absolutely love it so far. It really does read like a novel and is beautifully written. I was going to save it for my up coming flight to Paris, but I can't put it down! Congratulations on your success!

9:32 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peanut butter here too. I'm actually quite relieved to see that other people have the same problem. In particular I enjoy the Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter by Peanut Butter & Co.

I have ordered your book and am very excited to get it! If I turn to it instead of peanut butter, my treadmill will thank me.

DO TELL, Molly! - What's your peanut butter of choice?

I'm personally in search of the world's best chunky....

9:44 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Roxanna said...

Hey Molly,

Just to let you know, your book is out in Canada already. I was searching the shelves for The Tenth Muse, and there was your book too! I practically ran to the counter. I started it in bed last night with a cup of tea and it is lovely.

9:47 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Maija said...

Ha! Peanut butter recalls be damned - can't scare me away. We consume a lot of peanut butter in my house - for the past year at least, our typical breakfast on weekdays has been a PBJ on toast (with occasional oatmeal breaks).

My dad recently retired, and he ate a peanut butter & honey sandwich everyday for the past 20+ years as a mid-morning snack (he had a long commute, so it was like a late breakfast). I really think it must have helped contribute to his good health at 65!

9:48 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous avra said...

Molly! I'm a long time fan of your blog. If this soup is anywhere near as good as the green garlic one you posted a while back, I'm sure it will be delicious.

I got notification from Amazon on Monday that my copy of your book is in the mail, and due to arrive next week. Looking forward to having something to read on the bus to my new job... In fact, your writing is one of the reasons I now subscribe to Bon Appetit as well ;-)

9:53 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Julia said...

I can empathize with your devotion to all things peanut butter, however for me it's cashew butter. Given the choice between a heaping pile of steaming crab legs (which is usually my favorite) or a thick piece of warm whole grain toast smeared with cashew butter, the crab legs would lose. Sad but true.

What is it about nut butters that make them so addictive? :)

9:54 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Sean Harding said...

The book is great so far (got it on Monday). Good job!!!

10:21 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Rosiecat said...

Mmm, I want a bowl of your broccoli soup right now! I've got my soup spoon ready to go.

As for nut butters, I will admit to eating Barney Butter's almond butter with my soup spoon. Mmm, boy, that stuff is good!

11:08 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Carol said...

I received the book yesterday...and am already in love with it. It's brilliant - thank you for writing it!

11:09 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Rosasharne said...

I read this post while thickly spreading my breakfast toast with peanut butter. Recalls be damned. The plus side is that now my boyfriend won't touch the peanut butter, so it's all mine. The minus side is that UPS keeps refusing to leave your book at my house, even though I jumped through their little hoops and signed their little slips. And I'm having my tooth out tomorrow, so it will come and then I'll be starving and forced to stick to clear liquids. Hmph.

11:14 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Rita said...

I understand the fases when we don't want to cook anything... I however, do not share the love(obsession ?) with peanut butter. Growing up in Brazil, PB was just not a big deal to me ( and still isn't...sorry.)But I can run for days on grilled cheese alone...
So happy for your book, can't wait to see it.

11:16 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Snooky doodle said...

I love peanut butter yumm never tried it with jelly though. I know how could that be? but here its not very popular here.

11:19 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Carrie said...

I'm picking up my farm share tonight, which has broccoli and lemons in it. Kismet!

11:39 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Thank you so much for using the term spoonful rather than the horrid "dollop" when referring to serving sour cream.

11:51 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Rachel said...

Looks heavenly. I have to admit that I've been having a run of "not feeling inspired enough to cook" too lately. The sad part is that I don't even bother with the bread. I just eat peanut butter out of the jar.

11:51 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Georgette said...

Dearest Molly,

I have been reading your blog for about six months now ... and I am so grateful to be able to visit Orangette every week.

You have inspired me tremendously, and I greatly look up to you.

Thank you for making me laugh and cry, thank you for sharing your heart with us.

I CANNOT WAIT for your book next week!!! which I will be reading while I slowly enjoy your vanilla bean rice pudding (Bon Appetit). I've made two batches within one week! Its sooooo lovely.

..and Thank you for organizing the book signing in New York City! I am so going to be there!

Stay warm,


12:00 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Siiri said...

perfect for today's rainy "I hate Spring and refuse to show you the sun" day we're having in Seattle! I'm making it tonight to go with a roast I've finally dug out of the freezer. Will report back!

12:43 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Eric Chastain said...

Peanut butter and honey with sliced bananas. Since getting hooked on these sandwiches, I have been happily absorbed into the Dark Side. Congrats on the book; I'll look for it.

12:54 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Lucy T. said...

Natural Valencia PB on toasted Ezekiel sprouted-grain bread (which comes in sandwich-like slices) is a very nice version of that snack that you wouldn't need to feel bad about (not that you should feel bad anyway!).
Congrats on the book! I read your blog regularly and enjoy it very much.
Soup sounds great--I have a broccoli in my fridge just waiting to become it.

1:08 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Linds said...

am waiting anxiously for your book. yay for pre-orders!

2:13 PM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Meg said...

May I suggest Vain in Seattle for your haircut? They never disappoint.

Oh, and the soup sounds fabulous! I've been saving Parmesan rinds for just such an occasion.

2:15 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger v a n e s s a said...

i can't wait to try this recipe... and to get your book! I found your site through flickr (through Jen). Congratulations on the book!

3:10 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger The Fabulous One said...

Hahaha you seemed a little distant! I chalked it up to that darned pizza man and that impending opening of yours! ;P Have you thought about doing a PB post? Maybe some spicy peanut noodles..?

4:27 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger gail said...

you aren't alone with the peanut butta addiction... i do a similar dance with nutella...mmmm speaking of which!!

Recipe looks AWESOME!

5:24 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger the purcells said...

these first few paragraphs sum up how i feel lately too - as i sit here snacking on peanut butter pretzels, waiting for an ugly pink bundt cake (for a job) to come out of the oven, wondering where we should order take out from for dinner! we LOVE any kind of broccoli soup and will have to try this one soon. xoxo

5:34 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Michele said...

As one of the many you have inspired, I hope you are able to make a trip to Boston! I am sure I am not the only one who would be happy to treat you to some of the wonderful meals you can get here, too! Your recipes have become staples in our house (The Touch-of-Grace Biscuits, Roasted Cauliflower, etc.). I look forward to trying out this new one. Finally, your writing and story continues to be an inspiration for my blog, http://foodiemommy.blogspot.com/ So thank you and excuse me while I head over to Amazon to buy the book!

5:55 PM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhere, behind dark sunglasses, Ian Hunter is crying that you attributed "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" to a marginal 80's hair band like Great White.

6:00 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Karen D said...

Congratulations Molly on your Top Food Blog honor by the London Times - well deserved! I heard about it on the radio this morning and was so excited since I have been enjoying your writing and recipes for over a year now. Can't wait to read your book.

6:46 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger raining sheep said...

I have just received your book in the mail at work from Chapters here in Canada. I could not help myself, right there when I ripped that package open and settled in and read the introduction...now, at home and ready to settle in after checking some blogs, I am ready to tuck in and read.

6:49 PM, February 25, 2009  
OpenID Leah Smith said...

I got your book in the mail yesterday - what a fun pre-ordery surprise! I hope to make it to the Seattle book signing.

my pink toes

8:31 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Marta said...

Your book arrived in the mail yesterday! I was surprised, I didn't think it would arrive until it was released but it did! And I can't put it down!
Congratulations. It's incredible.

9:36 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Jess Constable said...

If you have a thing for PB, and you want to stop the habit - stay away from the new Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Flaxseeds. It is beyond amazing.

I just ate it with a spoon standing in the kitchen for breakfast. Sandwich bread need not apply.

4:46 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger melanie said...

I blame February for the blahs - I am a book blogger with no desire to read. Soup is just the thing to shush the pb demon. :)

6:10 AM, February 26, 2009  
Anonymous sarahyk said...

made this soup last night and it was SOOO GOOD! and EASY to make! especially when having an immersion blender around.. easy clean-up. THANK YOU for sharing!

btw, i was once on a PB and marshmallow fluff diet (to my husband's dismay. hey, we all have those times). i love peanut butter.

8:31 AM, February 26, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this broccoli soup! p.s. Did you see this post in the London Times? http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/real_food/article5561425.ece
Hurray for Orangette!

9:09 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Sarah said...

there is something about a really good pb&j, esp. if the bread is freshly baked and just soft enough. there is a bread bakery near my house that makes an amazing honey white loaf that just begs to be smeared with a nice, grainy pb and some fine preserves (preferably raspberry). i want one as i type this...

9:49 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger jordo said...

potentially silly - BUT - i discovered your blog a month or so ago and you've totally re-opened my eyes to how much i love cooking. and i love all of your insight and inspiration. its inspiration to me!


and, me too on the peanut butter. HOW can you not love it and want it all the time?

10:27 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger mattatouille said...

Can't wait for your new book! I wish I started reading you a long time ago, but I only discovered you through MattBites' blog. Cheers!

10:32 AM, February 26, 2009  
Anonymous Diane said...

Thank you for making me feel that it is ok to dread cooking sometimes. I felt that way many times and felt guitly for not wanting to cook. I felt like no one understood, so thank you. I will start to cook again today!

10:44 AM, February 26, 2009  
Anonymous Hillary said...

So...I got your book last Friday in the mail. I honestly jumped for joy in the middle of dinner when it arrived. I even blogged about it already. So far I'm in love but I'm trying to read it slowly so I can make it last :)

I did of course peruse all the recipes already and I just love that you shared your wedding cake recipe!!

12:11 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Vivian said...

Congratulations on making the TIMESONLINE list. Can't wait to meet you when you come through OKC.


12:17 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Joslyn said...

i understand fully your love of peanut butter...but this soup...swoon.

you should come to Dallas for a book signing.

12:47 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Anne said...

I just received your book in the post today (I'm in London). It's gorgeous. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Thank you.

1:57 PM, February 26, 2009  
Anonymous Poppy said...

I, too, have an old broccoli soup recipe I haven't made for years but I think I'll try yours instead. The parm rind idea is brillant! I'm going to try to make it to the UBookstore on Tuesday to cheer you on.

2:13 PM, February 26, 2009  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Thank you for this.I had two heads of broccoli from my CSA, and my new immersion blender that I'd not yet tried. This recipe was perfect.

And I am long overdue for a haircut as well.

3:45 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Emily said...

Oh, I have been making broccoli soup for ages (it's not at all boring to me and my otherwise brocco-phobe fiance will happily eat it) - I never thought about the joy of lemon cream though!
My accompaniments usually run more along the lines of buttery herb, garlic and parmesan bread...it may be time to add your cream to the mix for an even more sublime weeknight dinner, thanks Molly!

6:36 PM, February 26, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got your book today and I am so excited to get reading. Many congratulations!

8:27 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I have your book! It arrived early from Amazon yesterday. Despite the fact that my work sits in piles around me, I've already started reading it. What a wonderful beginning! I can't wait to dip into it more.

9:22 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger jeanette said...

Well, I read your blog and your column in Bon Appetit because I totally relate to your perspective. And you have proven that true once again. Peanut butter is amazing. My especial favorite: Maranatha organic creamy peanut butter. Naturally sweet and delightfully creamy. Yum.

9:43 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Caroline said...

I wish I had this recipe last weekend--I made a broccoli soup on Saturday. Yours sounds sooo much better though! I hope we'll get more broccoli in our CSA box tomorrow.

I'm so with you with peanut butter and jelly. There is nothing as soothing, satisfying and addictive as peanut butter, jelly, and sandwich bread...

10:38 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Lynna said...

When I began reading your post I thought I was reading about myself. I too have recently tried my fair share of unfavorable recipes (overly cake-y cookies and somewhat unfortunate vegan banana bread) was in great need of a haircut and have had that peanut butter downfall for at least two years.

I recently tried almond butter in an attempt to ween myself off an on to something slightly healthier, slightly less reminiscent of childhood and though I didn't love the first jar, I think it's growing on me. Oh and I got my hair cut yesterday.

11:02 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Gemma said...

Just a quick p.s to say that I finished your book this morning. It made me cry (on the bus). Thank you, it is beautiful.

4:13 AM, February 27, 2009  
Anonymous Cláudia said...

My first comment ever just to let you know that your book has just arrived to my office, in Portugal. Congratulations!

8:06 AM, February 27, 2009  
Blogger Nikirock said...

I just received your book and cannot wait to snuggle down and read away. Congratulations. Keep up the good work.

8:29 AM, February 27, 2009  
Blogger Emily said...

My mom received your book the other day...(hehe) or rather my copy of your book. She's organizing a care package for me, and pb may need to be involved.

Crunchy or creamy?

oh, and Congrats mille fois. So proud of you and so proud to know you!

3:36 PM, February 27, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is magic and comfort in the simplicity of a peanut butter sandwich.

Looking forward to your appearance at Powell's next week! Congrats on the book!

5:48 PM, February 27, 2009  
Blogger Anna said...

Hi Molly,

I love your blog and I'm tagging you ... check out my blog and participate if you want.

Ta, Anna.

10:47 PM, February 27, 2009  
Blogger Nicole said...

I am to the final chapter of your book. It was so wonderful I actually stopped reading last night so I could savor the last little bit today. Very nice work!

11:16 AM, February 28, 2009  
Blogger Lisa's Cocina said...

I love your blog. The fact that it's also about food is just an added bonus. I'm very much looking forward to reading your book...and trying your broccoli soup recipe. I just tried a simple recipe recently and am now ready to try bigger and better variations...after I'm done with my pb&j that is.

5:30 PM, February 28, 2009  
Blogger Stacy said...

Your post made me laugh. I could live on peanut butter for ever.

7:50 PM, February 28, 2009  
Blogger Kelly said...

I made this tonight, it was very good! It was also the first time I've bought real parmesan... I think I'm addicted.

9:50 PM, February 28, 2009  
Blogger james said...

Could I substitute creme fraiche for the sour cream / yogurt? I have some I need to use up ...

9:39 AM, March 01, 2009  
Blogger Caroline said...

Mmmmm.... so, the cream is almost exactly what I made this Thanksgiving as a base for a condensed soup-free version of green bean casserole (minus the parmesan cheese). I hadn't thought of other applications for it, but this sounds DELICIOUS ...

3:48 PM, March 01, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

James, this would be delicious, I'll bet, with creme fraiche. I say, go for it...

3:50 PM, March 01, 2009  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I work at a bookstore in Boston - we got your book in a few days ago, and it's up on display! I've started reading, and I love it!

8:18 PM, March 01, 2009  
Blogger Brigitta said...

Wow, today I was walking in Barnes and Noble looking at the new released books. Saw your book, not knowing anything about you or this blog, read the book sleave and decided this is a book I would enjoy, so I bought it. Then tonight I was blog surfing found your blog on someones sidebar and now here I am reading your blog and writing a comment. Can't wait to read your book!!!!

9:40 PM, March 01, 2009  
Anonymous milanese masala said...

I live in Italy and just introduced my 5 yr old daughter to my childhood staple, PB&J sandwiches. She was more excited by the idea of having her very own "peanut butter jelly time" than the by the sandwich itself. Anyway, on the positive side, I started eating them again... with a vengeance! Thanks for the soup recipe. My Italian hubby looooves broccoli and keeps buying them but I keep cooking the same old pasta dish. Now you've inspired me.

4:35 AM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly, Um. I made this soup last night. Forgot to take the parmesan rind out before blendering and now I can't find it anywhere in there!! Do you know what happens to parmesan rind when you simmer it for 20 min or so? Does it get soft enough to actually blender? Should I keep fishing around in there? Is it really gross and/or bad for me if I eat this soup with blendered parmesan rind in it?? Help!!

6:51 AM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Molly, I just finished your book. We're in the middle of a snow-storm here in NJ and I've been curled up in my bed with a cup of tea and a scone nearby, reading since I woke up. It is just wonderful. Not that I had any doubts. I fell in love with your writing from the first moment I happened upon your blog. Congratulations! I can't wait to have it signed when you come to "the world's second home." (Hahaha. I loved that bit.) Thank you.

8:11 AM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous Jon said...

Im not the biggest fan of broccoli soup but you do a good job of tempting me!

8:20 AM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger A Day That Is Dessert said...

I'm planning to come to your signing tomorrow night and can't wait!! I may not be able to make it by 7; I assume I'll still be able to see ya if I'm a little late? Any objection to pictures? - I'd love to do a post about your book.

8:34 AM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Anonymous, I think you should be fine! The parmesan rind does get very soft, yes, so it's likely that it just blended right in. And it is edible, so don't worry. A lot of people actually like to eat the rind after it's simmered in something; it's sort of a "cook's treat" kind of thing. It does have wax on the outside, but it's not enough to cause trouble. As long as the soup tastes okay, I say, go for it.

Lecia, no worries! Come when you can! I'll be there for a while, between talking a bit, reading a bit, and then signing. And pictures are fine with me. Snap away!

8:47 AM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Sherlie said...

I ordered your book this morning and I cant wait to get it!!! I also ordered two of Peter Mayle's books on Provence. I love his writings and my wish is to visit there someday. I best hurry as someday is a lot closer than it used to be. I want you to know I really enjoy your blog and also your articles in Bon Apetit. I have been cooking for a long time and slumps are just part of the territory so dont feel badly. The broccoli soup sounds wonderful as well as the roasted with shrimp(another blog)and then I ended up on your chick pea salad recipe and how I got there I dont know. You now have a recipe file in my recipe folder so I can save your recipes. Thanks so much for your interesting writings.

9:00 AM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Rosiecat said...

I wanted to like this soup. I really did. I found it to be...just okay. There's something about it that tastes off to me, and I'm not sure what. Maybe I overcooked the broccoli? Maybe my Parmesan just didn't harmonize with the other flavors? Whatever it is, I'll finish up the batch I made, but after that I don't think I'll be making this soup again. I say that with a deep sigh of regret! I'm sorry.

On the other hand, the sour cream mixture is totally delicious with spicy roasted potatoes! It's a variation of the potato chip suggestion, and roasting potatoes give me an excuse to fire up the oven. Hurray!

9:21 AM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

So sorry to hear that, Rosiecat! You know, I have had a similar experience with this soup one time before, and in my case, I think it was a combination of two things: 1) I overcooked the broccoli a little, and 2) the broccoli I bought wasn't particularly tasty to start with. Also, I used a store-bought vegetable broth that tasted really weird, and it made the whole soup taste odd and flat. Anyway, I totally understand your moving on to another soup, of course. Just wanted to offer a couple of ideas as to what might have gone wrong...

9:28 AM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous andrea said...

Hi Molly:
So excited for your book. I ordered it a few weeks ago from my local bookstore here in Falmouth, MA (Cape Cod). How about a signing here this summer? A GREAT time to visit!!!

P.S. I too, every once in a while, get that feeling of dread when it comes to cooking. Must be something to do with winter blues/blahs??

9:57 AM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger cookofthehouse said...

I read this entry while eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. And I am the kind to save my parmesan rinds in the freezer. I also adore broccoli. It feels as if this entry was written just for me, and that I somehow waited until precisely the right moment to read it. I do believe my blender will be getting used soon. :) Thanks!

12:51 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger 100layercake said...

I bought your book online for a friend of mine for her birthday, got it in the mail last Friday and just HAD to read through it over the weekend before giving it to her today. Needless to say, I'm heading to the bookstore after work to pick up my own copy and finish it! It is genius. thank you so much for inspiring me!

1:39 PM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous Jason said...

Peanut butter and jelly is one thing. But have you tried peanut butter, jalapenos and lettuce? Sounds weird but it is the greatest sandwich ever ...

2:31 PM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous Kate B said...

Just this weekend, I received my copy of your beautiful book -- and spent the rest of Saturday on the couch, alternating between laughing and crying, and reading parts aloud to my husband. Just wanted to say well done, you.

4:43 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger tstar said...

i love your blog and your honesty. i can relate to the haircut reference in a big way. I can't wait to try this soup and I'm sure I'll eat the sour cream first.

I wish your book tour was coming to L.A. Please keep us posted if you make it down this way.

5:12 PM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous AndyBrown said...

I enjoy your blog. The broccoli may be a bit 'pedestrian'. You should try a creamy watercress soup, something that can work either hot or cold. We've got lots of soup recipes on our website, www.watercress.com

Our family is as passionate about watercress as you and your readers are about food.

In addition to a very distinctive flavor, watercress is Mother Nature's version of a fresh multi-vitamin.

Live Longer...Eat More Watercress

7:07 AM, March 03, 2009  
Blogger Cheilita said...

I wonder if after 137 comments you will see this BUT i just had to tell you that I made this recipe for lunch and freaked out. who cares what snobby non broc. eating people say...this soup is a made in heaven eating experience. I almost shed a tear it was so good. It was so good i took pictures of it and blogged about it myself!


thanks again for a winner of a recipe. LOVED it!

10:57 AM, March 03, 2009  
OpenID habitual said...

Well, Martha linked to you and I'm happy she did. What a great site. Lots of photos and food motivation. Oh how I wish you were my neighbor. I'm a happy eater, with few limitations.

What options are there for someone who loves good food, but hates cooking? How you felt in your first paragraph about cooking is how I feel all the time.

3:35 PM, March 05, 2009  
Blogger Magpie Ima said...

Just wanted you to know--I already have the first blotch on my brand new copy of the book which you signed for me the other night at Powell's. The buckwheat pancakes were super!

12:03 PM, March 08, 2009  
Blogger Amy said...

This looks so unusual and delicious. I can't wait to give it a try. And I'm so excited about your book. Congrats!

2:41 PM, March 08, 2009  
Blogger Beaujolais said...

I am obsessed with soup. Also love that you use polaroids for your pictures. http://beaujolaisbistro.blogspot.com/

4:30 AM, March 09, 2009  
Anonymous Lucia said...

Is it possible to freeze this soup?

9:57 PM, March 11, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Lucia, I do think you could freeze this soup, yes, but I would leave out the sour cream mixture. I worry that it would do something strange in the freezing and thawing process. Instead, maybe add it after the soup is thawed, when you rewarm it?

8:16 PM, March 13, 2009  
Anonymous Julia said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I have a run of bad recipes, too - and the series started off with a totally gone wrong carrot-broccoli soup and got even worse with a couscous with vegetables last night. I'm still trying to go back to the very simple stuff, but that sometimes goes wrong as well:-)
I wonder, if I just go back to making a broccoli soup and see if this series of bad recipes ends?
What do you guys think? I think I try with yours.

7:52 AM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger Anne said...

Speaking of peanut butter, I just made an AMAZING peanut butter frosting for a chocolate cake. It was really simple, too. I got it from Cook's Illustrated's website. Check it out!!

6:42 PM, March 19, 2009  
Blogger jennie said...

i'm reading your book and am loving every moment of it. thank you so much, molly!
thanks, too, for admitting the pb&j obsession here. i find myself putting off cooking for days if i have those ingredients around. mmmm

12:13 PM, March 24, 2009  
Blogger Phoebe and Cara, The Quarter-Life Cooks said...

This soup reminds me of one of my mothers that I just returned to--green and soothing, yet far too simple-sounding in composition and technique to warrant much mention. However, her chard-zucchini-cilantro combo is delicious in its bare structure, and probably would only improve with the addition of your lemony sour cream (perhaps with a hit of cayenne).


8:11 PM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger christine said...

I made this soup last night and my husband, who admittedly is already a big fan of broccoli, *loved* it. His new favorite, he called it. I liked it too, especially the dip!

8:00 AM, April 11, 2009  
Blogger amisha said...

i keep coming back to this recipe molly. i think with the change of seasons, all i want to eat is green foods-- and lo and behold, reading bon appetit last night, just before falling asleep, your green goddess dressing. and this. perfect. the antidote to the gray, rainy week we're having in new york! xo

11:45 AM, April 11, 2009  
Anonymous Linda B said...

Just made the soup for the first time. My whole family could not stop paying it compliments as we ate. My kids (boys, ages 10, 8, and 3) adored this. We've added it to our regular rotation of favorite dishes. Thanks so much for sharing. It's the best broccoli soup EVAH!

4:22 PM, April 11, 2009  
Blogger Smitty said...

This is the very first recipe that I made from your site and it was delightful. It was like eating springtime.

6:23 AM, September 15, 2009  
Blogger erinz said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for lunch today & it's delish!!

12:17 PM, April 06, 2013  
Anonymous Mary said...

WOW! This soup is delicious, thank you! The only reason I found it was because your blog is indexed on "Eat Your Books".

2:47 PM, February 06, 2014  

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