I normally do not mix vegetables, any kind of meat, seafood etc. unless I feel that the combination will be absolutely fabulous. I don’t know why, it’s just my thing. Did I feel that this broccoli soup would be fab with scallops? Actually, no. But I was in my scallop phase those days, spending all my money on scallops (as they are sold €55 per kilo) and I wanted to try something different after roasting, frying and boiling scallops again and again for days!
I know from people I met that broccoli is not everyone’s favourite dish, and for some it is not even tolerable. For me, though, broccoli has a special place in my heart. When I was living in Paris on a very limited budget, one of the cheapest and healthiest things were cauliflower and broccoli. That’s when I got acquainted with those two and I now can eat both even raw in salads.
So after this little trial, I can say that creamy broccoli soup and pan fried scallops work great together. You can top it with chives and some nuts. I had roasted pine nuts hanging around on my kitchen counter so I just added them. Parsley would go well too. It’s up to you, you can top it with your favourite herbs and nuts.
Difficulty: ★★☆ (Medium)
For creamy broccoli soup:
1 kg. broccoli, divided into florets
5 garlic cloves
2 tsp / 10 ml. olive oil (for roasting broccoli)
1 tsp / 5 ml. salt
1/2 tsp / 2.5 ml. pepper
2 tsp / 10 ml. olive oil (for soup base)
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp / 10 ml. cumin
1 lt. vegetable broth, ready or homemade
2 dl. cream
olive oil to brush the pan
To serve (all optional)
Roasted nuts of your choice
Any herb of your choice
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Put broccoli, garlic cloves and 2 tsp / 10 ml. olive oil in a bowl and gently mix them.
3. Add salt and pepper, mix again, and put all on an oven tray with a baking sheet. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until broccoli pieces start browning. When done, take them out of the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.
4. In a pan for the soup, heat 2 tsp / 10 ml. olive oil for a few minutes on medium heat, then add chopped onion and sauté the onion until it gets translucent.
5. Add roasted broccoli and cumin in the pan and stir on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
6. Add broth, stir a little, and cook until it starts to boil.
7. Add cream, stir and simmer for a few minutes.
8. Transfer soup into a blender and process until it gets creamy. Transfer back to the pan and let it cool with cover on for a while, as you prepare scallops.
9. Brush a pan with a little olive oil (if you want, you can use butter at that point). Pan fry scallops until they are nice browned. Divide soup between plates, add scallops and finish with the topping(s) of your choice.