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Brocolli Bean Soup

Soup-er simple, this recipe can easily work with a head of cauliflower or a bag of carrots.

2 T. olive oil
1 onion
2 ribs of celery
2 cloves of garlic
1 head broccoli
4 cups liquid
(can be one of, or a mix of, chicken broth, vegetable broth or water)
1 can cannellini beans
2 potatoes

Heat oil in large soup pot. Chop the onion and saute until soft, stirring in the minced celery and garlic during this time.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of the thick broccoli stem. Remove any leaves as well. Cut off the nice crowns from the head of broccoli. Don't waste the stem: slice it thin and chop. Stir the chopped stem into the onion saute followed by the broccoli crowns 5 minutes later.

Stir in the liquid and the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes until broccoli is soft.

Ladle half of the soup into a blender, puree it and pour back into the pot. Cook the soup on low for up to two hours, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces, the flavors intensify and the soup thickens. Salt & pepper to taste.

In the last hour or so, peel and dice up the potatoes and stir into the soup.

This soup can be made with just the broccoli, broth and beans. It would be even more simple to make, but wouldn't have the same depth of flavor that the other ingredients impart, nor would it have that love that only the slow-going procedure above can achieve.

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