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Broccoli Stem Soup + Kalamata Olive and Sundried Tomato Tapenade

I bought some amazing broccoli at President Wilson Market the other day —  and yes, I know how strange that sounds.

I’ve been so used to buying the stuff at Carrefour down the street, I forgot how broccoli should taste. This President Wilson broccoli wasn’t fancy or anything like that, but it was fresh, and fresh is what I’ve been missing for awhile.

I knew this when I began slicing off the florets and noticed something different right away. The stalks weren’t terribly hard, like the ones I’d gotten used to. Instead, they were still filled with moisture, and as it turns out, plenty of broccoli flavor.

I put the florets aside for Thai fried rice and chopped up the stems into small pieces and made a soup with them. I wanted my soup to have a big blast of flavor so I made a Kalamata-sundried tomato tapenade to go on top.

Either one of these are just fine on their own, but I like the idea of pairing two unlikely partners — broccoli stem soup and tapenade — together.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’ll just say it. Sometimes opposites do attract, and work quite well together. May your sacks be stuffed with hearts. Love to you all.

Broccoli Stem Soup + Kalamata Olive and Sundried Tomato Tapanade

Makes 2 servings

  1. Put the olive oil and shallot in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the shallot begins to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes, add the broccoli stems, chicken stock, 2 cups water and salt and pepper to taste.
  1. When the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook until the stems are slightly softened, about 30 minutes. Carefully pour the soup into a blender, and purée until very smooth and creamy.
  1. To make the Kalamata Olive and Sundried Tomato Tapenade, put all of the ingredients in your baby food processor and pulse until combined. Taste for seasonings. Serve a spoonful in the middle of your soup. Leftovers? Smear on toast, flatbread or biscuits, even — which I’ve totally done.