Wind and rain warnings flashed through the weather reports for the weekend, and they did not disappoint. It was rainy, it was windy, and it was awesome. I say this because I am, in fact, a lover of the rain. Especially on the weekends, when there’s nowhere I have to be.
Is there really any better feeling? Waking up on a Saturday morning, hearing the rain spatter against the windows, knowing you don’t have to get up to go to work, snuggling deeper under the covers and staying there until you feel like it.
Even Parker the Pooch stayed cozy in the blankets this weekend. He actually stayed on the couch for 90% of the weekend, and was the perfect little 12lb hot water bottle.
He really is the strangest dog. On one hand he has enough energy to run all day if given the choice. He’s a little Tasmanian devil, barking at the big dogs at the dog park, nipping at their heels until they chase him (his absolute favourite thing) (picture a great dane and a pit bull running full-tilt after a little jack russell mix. It’s really quite comedic!).
But on the other hand, he’s as lazy as a sloth. On Saturday, I tried to take him for a walk. I really did. I put on the rain boots, layered up in my rain jacket, put in my contacts so the rain wouldn’t stick to my glasses. I put on Parker’s rain jacket (yes my dog has a rain jacket) and we headed outside. We got as far as the sign post outside the front door. One pee and he was running back inside, where he proceeded to nest himself in between two fluffy blankets on the couch and sleep there all day.
It’s like he knows when the weather is crummy. “Is it wet out today, Mom? No need for a walk then. I’ll just be in a coma until the sun comes out. Do not disturb. Unless you has bacon.”
He had the right idea. It was the perfect weekend to cozy up inside. I did some cooking, I did some baking, I got a fair amount of blogging done, cleaned the house, washed the sheets, watched some Netflix. It was a lazy, hazy weekend and it was glorious. It was productive, but in the best way.
This soup hit our menu while we snuggled up on the couch. Never in my life, until this weekend, did I ever think I’d crave broccoli soup. But, there I was, craving soup and staring at a large bunch of broccoli in my fridge. So I gave it a go.
Note to self, this creamy broccoli and cheddar soup might be the absolute best way to eat your vegetables.
A whole whack of broccoli, stems and all, gets sauteed with some onions, garlic, flavourful stock, and seasoning. Blend it all in a blender (or use an immersion blender if you’re lucky enough to have one), thin it out with a bit of milk, and add some cheddar for comfort. Top with more cheese (yes please) and a handful of crispy chickpeas.
Because the broccoli soup itself is so creamy and smooth, it needed a little extra something. Roasted chickpeas did the trick. They’re salty and flavourful and add a much appreciated crunch of texture. I’d recommend the soup without the chickpeas, but gosh, the chickpeas make the dish.
If you have a couple slices of big, crusty bread for dipping, you’re on the right track.
Now bring it on, Rain. We’ve got our soup on.
|Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crispy Chickpeas|| |
- One 540ml can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 bunch broccoli, stems and florets chopped and separated (about 8 cups in total)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- ¼ - ½ tsp red chili flakes, to taste
- 1 cup milk (I use skim)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
- Salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Dry chickpeas with paper towel to remove most of the moisture. Some of the skins might fall off the chickpeas; pick them out and discard. Let chickpeas sit to air dry while the oven heats to temperature.
- Place chickpeas on a baking tray and toss with olive oil and salt. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until chickpeas are a crispy golden brown. Remove from oven and toss with chili powder. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a large pot, saute broccoli stems and onion in olive oil for 5 minutes until onions have softened Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, thyme, pepper and red chili flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add broccoli florets and simmer for an additional 5 min or until softened. Let mixture cool slightly before proceeding.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree the mixture until smooth. Return to pot and reheat. Stir in milk and cheese, stirring until cheese has completely melted. Season with salt, to taste. If soup is too thick, add a bit more milk.
- Serve hot, topped with more cheddar cheese and crispy chickpeas.