broccoli and walnut purée

Julia Child says that all puréed soups need a binder or liaison, which thickens the soup liquid enough so that the puréed ingredients remains in suspension rather than sinking to the bottom of the bowl. Simple liaisons are usually a starch of some sort, like grated potatoes, puréed rice, farina, or tapioca. An elegant option, according to Julia, is to use raw egg yolks, which when beaten into and heated with the soup, thicken it lightly.* Keepin it elegant, today’s recipe is a broccoli and walnut purée with raw egg yolks as a liaison.

It’s getting cold in New York. It’s not snowing, but it’s doing that cold-to-the-bone rainy/windy mixture. Nothing sounds better than a steaming bowl of soup, a hunk of hot bread and a dollop of something creamy. Amen.

 Also, I started taking a few snaps some of my new Japanese knives, given to me by a good friend with superb taste … and it turned into an all out photo shoot. The pairing knife by Kikuichi has become my BFF. If you have never used one of their knives before, I highly recommend them. Absolute game changers.

A series: chef porn

Kikuichi pairing knife
Kikuichi pairing knife

Cocinamos!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock**
  • 3 large heads broccoli, stalks mostly removed
  • 1 cup whole walnuts
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 raw egg yolks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Greek yogurt, EVOO and salt for serving

(scroll down for guidance)

Doin’ it:

Heat stock in dutch oven over medium-low. Roast broccoli at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Add to stock and simmer for half hour. Turn off heat and let sit until cool. Meanwhile, roast walnuts at 300 degrees fahrenheit on a baking sheet for 15 minutes or until they smell toasted. Add to stock. Pour entire mixture into a food processor and process until smooth. Return to dutch oven and reheat. Break eggs and separate yolks. When soup is hot, add cream, stir, then add yolks one at a time while whisking. S + P to taste. If you’re like me, serve with Greek yogurt or creme fraiche mixed with a drizzle of EVOO and course salt.


* Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two, by Julia Child and Simone Beck

** I used chicken stock, the kind I like to call leftovers stock… because I use all of the leftover veggies, in this case from Thanksgiving, to make it. First, I cooked in sesame oil celery, onions, garlic and mushroom. Then I added a couple of cups of leftover wine (why do I have leftover wine? because I bought a French red blend called “Girls’ Night Out”. NOTE – that using red wine caused the soup to be a brownish green rather than the pure green it would have been had I used white wine), and cook until reduced by half. Next I added a chicken that had been roasted and stuffed with lemons with most of the meat and skin picked off. I covered with water and added more salt, pepper and a bay leaf. I brought to a boil and simmered for an hour, then a turned off the heat, let it cool and refrigerated over night. The next day, I strained, pressing the meat and veggies to get all of the juices, and discarded the solids. I let it sit an hour – since the stock wasn’t very fatty, I didn’t need to strain off the fat.

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7 thoughts on “broccoli and walnut purée

      1. Every maker has a range. Sometimes a lot of what you’re paying for is the name or even the material of the handles or the Damascus design etc. Same goes for cleavers. They’re are bad henckels and great ones. shun is also another maker which relies more on the name. Both do make great knives but they’re far over prices. I’m not too familiar dexter Russel yet 40 seems like a deal you cannot go wrong with.

        You’ve got quite the top level range of cutlery there. I don’t see much use for a western cleaver for most chefs. A japanese boning knife which you seem to have in one of the photos is nice and thick and would do the job for most things.

        I imagine the good friend who gave you these knives holds you quite dear.

        Congrats on the knives

  1. Also – In my experience the Japanese knkves generally are lighter than German or western knives. Most of yours have western handles. The long chefs knife seems to have a traditional sushi knife handle. How is that comb along ?

  2. The weight is actually what surprised me both about these knives. The weight of the handle is enough that you definitely feel it in your hand, but it balances perfectly against the weight of the blade.

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