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Tried out the "Broccoli Soup" from Gordon Ramsay

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

This is the video. I suppose you could call this a simple puree but then again plenty of "soups" are purees. What is neat about this, is the simplicity. Just broccoli and water. I like that he made a big deal about the flavor coming from the broccoli and that after boiling it you have a "broccoli stock". I love broccoli myself so I had to try it out today. This is an extremely fast prep. Instead of goat cheese I chose to put a plank of grilled bread down with shavings of a 2+ year sharp Irish cheddar. It was delicious. I did make a mistake though, by adding too much liquid up front. Next time I will be conservative since I can always add more. Finished product (plated in a wider shallow bowl, there was enough soup to balance with the bread):

 

1000

 

Simple and delicious. The color really pops too because basically you are just blanching the broccoli, then immediately blending it. I am curious what other "soups" I can make this way!

post #2 of 19

I wasn't that impressed with it when I tried it. But lots of people rave about it.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Phatch what was lacking for you? Or that is to say how would you modify it to make it better? I didn't find it to be "creamy" as it lacks any dairy but it was very smooth and flavorful to me.

post #4 of 19

To me, it was broccoli minus the texture, diluted with salt water. I prefer the texture of the brocolli and full flavor of it. Now, part of the issue for me may be that I'm on a sodium restriction and so didn't season the broth with the level of salt to achieve Gordon's vision. But honestly, that's never been a problem with other recipes I reduce salt in and my taste is adapted to lower sodium, so I don't think that's it.  This soup really only has one note to sound, and there are better ways to sound that one note.

 

I love soup. It's something I look forward to trying in a new restaurant, especially when it's an ethnic restaurant. I like the window soups open into a cuisine. I enjoy how soups marry flavors and accents. A soup should be a symphony of flavors. Sure, a symphony often has a solo artist which makes a special performance, such as French Onion Soup, but the whole result is more than just the solo.

 

Now, I think this soup shows a lot about Gordon's approach to cooking. It's fast. It's simple. Very reproducible. It would work well in a restaurant setting where you can go from start to finish a few minutes. Great for a first course. You see the same approach in his programs like Kitchen Nightmares or Hell's Kitchen.   Similarly, I think it targets an audience without the deeper understanding of food.

 

I don't think it needs to have dairy or be a cream of brocolli to be improved. But it does need some aromatics.

 

If I did it again I would add some butter to finish it, probably a compound butter. So there's me giving in to some dairy.

 

I think there's the potential for an interesting Asian influenced version. Ginger, garlic, fermented black beans, a little Shao Hsing wine and an asian based stock. Or even with oyster sauce and ginger and garlic.

 

As to what else you could do this way. Carrots, though they need more cooking time I think. Zuchinni, though I'd deseed them first I think--I'd probably go with a saute in butter first to concentrate the rather weak flavor, then puree in a mild vegie stock.  Many butternut squash or bean soups have a similar simplistic approach. Sweet potato has potential. Nick Stellino does a pureed potato soup, heavy with garlic that's quite nice. http://www.nickstellino.com/recipes_display.asp?ind=436  Most of these need more time though.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

That makes sense. It really is a puree, and I think the idea is not to add that much of the broth. There is some truth to what he says in regards to the flavor of the broth so it is not simply salt water. I did have to season it pretty heavily. When I first tasted it.. it was bland.. a bit more salt and it seemed to jump a little. I did use quite a bit of butter to grill my bread and that coupled with extremely sharp cheddar.. I think it gave me a nice counterpoint to the otherwise plain puree. I think aromatics/herbs would make it better but I guess like you said that is kind of Ramsay's thing. I cook a lot of indian dishes so I'm no stranger to complex flavor profiles, it was fun to get away from that and have something that was so simple. I like the other ideas too, I thought of asparagus, carrots, etc. Spinach could work too. Anyway thanks for the input.

post #6 of 19

Not sure I like the sound of this recipe.  I haven't watched the video, but if just a broccoli mush up - you can count me out.  Now, if there were garlic or onions, aromats as phatch said, and a good chicken stock instead of water, then it might be worth a go.

 

 I know Ramsay does reproduceable food - I guess we can take the basic process he provides and grow it into our own version.

 

Personally, I don't do bland.  Unless it's vanilla icecream

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

I think this is absolutely a knee-jerk reaction. Whether it suits your palette or not, well I can't tell you what to like. The reason I posted it was because it produced a genuinely PURE broccoli flavor which I happen to adore so long as it is seasoned well. By itself it is plain, but it creates a great canvas for a few other also stand-alone ingredients. You even said you didn't watch the video. Then how can you begin to be critical of the concept? At least Phatch actually made it before passing judgement

 

You've heard of people "deconstructing" food right? Well that is basically what this is. You want garlic, onions, aromatics? Add them! But let them stand on their own. Let the person experiencing the dish combine the flavors experimentally. How often do we get to do that? You could shave shallots and lightly saute them in oil and place them atop the puree. Ramsay purposefully points out.. you don't need a chicken stock. I don't think he means "You don't need a chicken stock if you want to mass produce this" .. what difference is it to add water or stock? His point was towards the purity of the broccoli flavor.

 

There are so damn many dishes that are based on "flavor profiles". Like I said, I'm well versed in that world but monotony is never truly good. I won't defend it past this point but I am happy to have tried it and will certainly use the same technique in the future.

post #8 of 19

It's also cheap to make. If you notice many of all the TV chefs new recipes are featuring things like Polenta, rissutto, lima beans, fava beans, lentils, etc. These things are cheaper to make then things containing chicken, beef etc.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #9 of 19

I like the flavor of vegetable soups.

I make "creamed soups" but not "cream of" soups....meaning, rather than adding cream to the puree I will simply "cream out" the vegetables in the stock to achieve the consistency.  

I watched the video and made the soup.

To me it was bland and way too salty.

As to the TV Chefs, the network is trying to attract those people who can use every day items in their fridge and pantries to make good wholesome food.

Things like this soup are great for "Meatless Mondays" and such. It appeals to their target audiences.

post #10 of 19

Eastshores....thanks for your reply.  It's just how I would do it.  No I didn't watch the video, as I have limited time online.  I appreciate your opinion.  So, it's pretty much a matter of taste as to what people would like to produce, and we should all be allowed our own opinions. 

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #11 of 19

OK.  I saw the original episode of the show with this dish.  I kinda had my doubts, feeling that this soup was gonna be dull.  I made it per-spec as explained by Gordon. It was not at all bad.  I added toasted/buttered tomato/basil bread to go with.  I think I would do some of the suggestions posted here already the next time I make it (addition of some fresh herbs, maybe a knob of butter).  Anyway ... I made it again today, but with a different ingredient, cauliflower (they didn't have any broccoli at the store I went to).  I cut the florets up small and used as much of the good parts of the stem as I could.  In a wide high-sided pan I just covered them all with water, and simmered it for at least 10/15-minutes; I wanted everything soft.  Being that there was not much water, I didn't strain.  I did add that knob of butter, and blitzed the bageebies out of everything with a new boat-motor stick.  If I remember maybe I'll post a review.  It was a good stick.  I seasoned it with pink salt and fresh ground pepper.  I like the black specks.  I'm goofy.  Go figure.  This was a very nice soup.  It made a great side for grilled cheese/prosciutto sammiches.  We also had a fresh capri salad (on steroids)

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post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine View Post

Eastshores....thanks for your reply.  It's just how I would do it.  No I didn't watch the video, as I have limited time online.  I appreciate your opinion.  So, it's pretty much a matter of taste as to what people would like to produce, and we should all be allowed our own opinions. 


Absolutely. And thank you for yours, without it what fun would I have .. I come here to banter with you guys and I appreciate every minute of it.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

OK.  I saw the original episode of the show with this dish.  I kinda had my doubts, feeling that this soup was gonna be dull.  I made it per-spec as explained by Gordon. It was not at all bad.  I added toasted/buttered tomato/basil bread to go with.  I think I would do some of the suggestions posted here already the next time I make it (addition of some fresh herbs, maybe a knob of butter).  Anyway ... I made it again today, but with a different ingredient, cauliflower (they didn't have any broccoli at the store I went to).  I cut the florets up small and used as much of the good parts of the stem as I could.  In a wide high-sided pan I just covered them all with water, and simmered it for at least 10/15-minutes; I wanted everything soft.  Being that there was not much water, I didn't strain.  I did add that knob of butter, and blitzed the bageebies out of everything with a new boat-motor stick.  If I remember maybe I'll post a review.  It was a good stick.  I seasoned it with pink salt and fresh ground pepper.  I like the black specks.  I'm goofy.  Go figure.  This was a very nice soup.  It made a great side for grilled cheese/prosciutto sammiches.  We also had a fresh capri salad (on steroids)

 

Edit: I will have to try it with cauliflower. I enjoy both. There are many ways the base concept can be elaborated that would turn out great I'm sure.


Edited by eastshores - 8/20/12 at 10:49am
post #14 of 19

Chef Ross: You had stated that the recipe of the chef mentioned, is too salty. How would you prepare a cream of broccoli ? Could you provide a recipe for me when you can ? No rush. I like ur creaming philosophy ...

 

 

Chef Ed B.: This is quite true, due to crisis over here, many people are veered towards bean & vegtable dishes. Broccoli and cauliflower are on sale here in Puglia.

 

A 500 gram broccoli is 1 Euro and Cauliflower, a whole head 1 kilo is 89 Euro Cents.

 

This is cheap ...

 

 

I would be most grateful.

Thanks alot.

Have a wonderful August.

Margaux.  

post #15 of 19

OK. LOL. I don't know.   I find it funny, that on SO many TV cooking competition shows one of the biggest killers for contestant's dishes is "LACK OF SEASONING".  The biggest culprits are #1. Any stupid judge on "Chopped", particularly Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy and Scott Conant.  And #2. is Tom Colicchio.  I'd like to jam a salt-shaker down his throat sometimes.  SO many TV chefs on their shows go to lengths to let you know that they season the bageebies out of stuff.  One of my favorites, Anne Burrell, is nuts about that.  Watch some of her vids and you'll see.  Second, only to obesity, the biggest food-based problem we have in the U.S. is high blood pressure, brought on by excess sodium (salt, duh).  You can always put more on, but you really can't take any out, once it's on your plate.  As a general rule in my kitchen, I season to my standards, which are, correctly perfect. LOL I guess.  There is always salt on the table for those who want to screw-up a dish I have made.  I do allow them their own opinions, but I make sure to tell them first that extra salt is not required.  I think the soup was just fine as presented on the show.  That show for me was not the vid posted, but "Kitchen Nightmares", where he challenged the owner/chef to make a better broccoli-soup than he did.  Gordon made this same soup.           

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm sure you have a point IceMan.. I have always eaten more salt than I should. It probably is true that if you eat lower sodium foods that your tastes will change, is that correct? Or is too little seasoning (salt) basically universal? Some dishes I have always felt required far more salt than other dishes. For instance, lima beans and rice.. somewhat of a Southern staple, I always felt needed heavy salting to reach a point where I would consider it delicious. When there is sufficient spicing or aromatics I guess the need for salt is lessened? Grilling vegetables is another area where I feel like it imparts enough flavor, or possibly somehow the flavors are concentrated such that I don't feel that salt is needed as much. I am extremely happy with olive oil and garlic, maybe a dash of S&P but no need to be heavy for things like grilled zucchini, onions, mushrooms, etc.

 

Overall this thread has been one that troubled me. I liked the simplicity of the original approach but I suppose it's not for everyone. It is hard as a cook when you want people to enjoy your food to see that others disapprove. It's easy to tell yourself that they just "don't get it". Consensus is consensus I suppose.

post #17 of 19

OK. Maybe try this special way to enjoy foods ... use higher-quality ingredients.    Don't laugh.  I found how much different things tasted, and how much less I had to use when I stopped using "table salt" and switched to sea or kosher salt.  As it's been for a while, I finish with Pink Himalayan salt.  I cut back half as much for regular seasoning, and two-thirds as much for finishing.  Pepper is the same way.  Good pepper, fresh ground, tastes really good.   I also seek out higher quality food products too.  Gordon Ramsay is really big on that idea.  I've had a garden since I can remember remembering.  Potted herb gardens are great.  Chicks think you're cool and sensitive too. 

 

My S&P's comes from Trader Joe's, for $1.99 ea., in their own grinders.  I've found almost the same products at Aldi's for $1.29. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm with you on that! I exclusively use sea salt as well as "pickling" salt.. which is basically kosher salt (stupid cheap too!). I also use fresh ground pepper in every case. I love my puegot grinder. I haven't tried any special peppercorns but I hear there are definitely various qualities of peppercorns from different areas of the world. Still the amount of salt added varies quite a bit depending on the dish I am making. With the broccoli puree, I didn't use an extraordinary amount of salt but I definitely felt it had a certain point of seasoning where it brightened up and was no longer bland. On the quality of the actual food stuffs.. I did as well as I could but obviously broccoli is not native to Florida in the middle of summer so it looked really nice but it probably is not as good as seasonally procured local produce would be. Thanks for your thoughts on it.

post #19 of 19

This is a decent method for a lot of soups as long as you're dealing with the freshest ingredients possible. though, I still prefer to ad a few basic herbs and spices. adding a potato to the soup tends to add some nice body to "blended soups" too. really... if you know how to make a good vichyssoise, you can make a lot of other soups, like broccoli or pea soup, just by adding them to that.

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