Broccoli Soup with Parmesan-Lemon Fricos
Baking grated Parmesan cheese in thin rounds results in thin, crispy wafers, or fricos, which add both texture and flavor to a velvety broccoli soup. Make extra fricos and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They are delicious served as a light appetizer with wine or cocktails.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large bunch broccoli, cut into small florets, stems peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) chicken broth
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Parmesan-lemon frico:
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) of the broth, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor with the remaining 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) broth. Return to the pot and stir in the cream. Return the soup to a gentle boil and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
To make the Parmesan-lemon fricos, preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together the Parmesan and lemon zest. Transfer a heaping teaspoonful of the cheese mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and use your fingers to flatten the mound. Repeat with the remaining cheese mixture, placing the mounds 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake the fricos until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet, then carefully lift using a spatula.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 fricos, and serve. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011)