It's a tradition in my family to make tortellini the day after thanksgiving. We make them and freeze them to eat on Christmas Eve. For a better writeup on this tradition, or making tortellini in general, check out the first post I wrote about it. For now though, I am going to talk about the soup I made to feed the workers this year. No one is going to come over and work for 4 hours and not be compensated! It's my job to pull a soup together to feed everyone about half way through the operation.
Everyone working away before lunch.
The past few years I have made pasta dishes into soups for this occasion, so I decided to follow suit this year. This is broccoli stems and onion sauteing in the pot.
We told everyone they couldnt eat until we had 600 tortellini made.
Splitting the stems and florets on broccoli is one of my favorite soup techniques. Use the stems to build the base flavors of the soup, and finish with the florets for texture, flavor, and color.
Cook the pasta separately. Put it into a bowl, then ladle the soup over it.
Finally break time. Everyone gets to eat lunch.
This soup was great. It tasted like my favorite version of chicken broccoli ziti that my mom makes.
Parmy and hearty to keep the workers on track!
6 stalks of broccoli. separate the stems from the florets. This is the longest part of the recipe because you want the florets to only really be an inch and cut longways into smaller pieces. You want them to be small enough that they will cook in the hot broth in less than 10 minutes.
Chop up 2 large chicken breasts into small cubes. About half inch. Sear the chicken in a large soup pan and remove with a slotted spoon.
Dice the broccoli stems and an onion and cook them in the soup pot, scraping the bottom of the pot to get any of the burned bits from the chicken. Add a lot of diced garlic. Like 5 big cloves at least. Cook 2 minutes. Add 3 boxes of chicken stock. Simmer 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend up the soup. It isn't going to be thick or anything like a pureed soup, I just didn't want chunks of onion or broccoli stems in there. The chunks add a nice flavor and body to the broth.
Meanwhile, cook some mini penne in salted boiling water. Add the broccoli florets to the soup and simmer until they are your desired level of softness. Return the chicken to the pot and add ¼ cup of parm. Strain the pasta and put some in the bottom of a bowl. Add a few ladles of soup on top of your pasta and top with more parm. Serve