Chilled Broccoli-Mascarpone Soup

I love the simplicity and ease of this soup. Broccoli florets and chopped shallots are quickly cooked in chicken stock, then pureéd. Creamy marscapone is the secret ingredient in this recipe. It is whisked into the pureéd soup while it is still warm, giving this potage its ethereally smooth texture.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced shallots (about 6 large shallots)
1 1/2 pounds broccoli florets
6 cups chicken stock or 6 cups {chicken broth powder}
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) marscapone, divided
1 teaspoon kosher {salt}, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon {cayenne pepper}, plus more if needed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley
Heat the oil until hot in a large, heavy pot (with a lid) set over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring, until softened, for about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook at a simmer until the vegetables are tender, for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pureé the soup in batches in a food processor, blender, or food mill, and return soup to the pot. (Or use an immersion blender to pureé the soup in the pot.) Reserve 1/4 cup of the mascarpone for the garnish in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate.

With the soup off the heat, whisk remaining 1 1/4 cups mascarpone, a few tablespoons at a time, into the soup. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and cayenne pepper. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. When soup is well chilled, taste and season with more salt and cayenne pepper, as needed. (Chilled soups often need extra seasoning to intensify their flavor.)

Divide the soup among eight bowls. Garnish the center of each serving with a dollop of mascarpone and a sprinkle of chives or parsley.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 30 min
chill for 3 hours

Cook Time: 15 min

Servings: 8

Recipe By: Betty Rosbottom

From:  Sunday Soup
Used with permission of Chronicle

Chef Suggestions
Packaged broccoli florets are a real time-saver; they are available in the produce section of most supermarkets.