The Return of Broccoli?

There was a time when broccoli was devoured straight up, steamed in little florets. Then it needed to be served with melted cheese but at least that solution worked for a while and the peanut was getting calcium too! Soon broccoli became one of the first vegetables to be snubbed. Actually I was always surprised that my little darling even ate them to begin with but as long as they went down the hatch I didn’t question it. So when the day came that broccoli was turned down I stubbornly kept making it, remembering that mantra that new foods can take up to 10 tries before they are accepted. But, I wondered what about old favorites that are suddenly not good enough? Finally I left the broccoli alone and moved on to other veggies.

Tonight I decided to give broccoli a try in the form of soup. To be honest I had tried the soup once before but only had the stringy stalk bits left from a bag of frozen “cut broccoli.” That didn’t work so well. Also despite the recipe directing me to boil the broccoli in plenty of water, I tried to cook the broccoli in the microwave, which also didn’t work so well. I’d learned my broccoli lesson and bought a bag of frozen “broccoli tops.” No stalks there! And I decided next time I would cook the “slow way” on the stove top. So, tonight was the night. I still didn’t follow the recipe to a T but it actually came out quite nice. Smooth and creamy, not gritty like the last time I made it. The recipe for a fast cream of broccoli soup came from the Better Homes and Gardens Limited Edition New Cookbook (the pink plaid 12th edition). It basically calls for broccoli, chicken stock, milk, a roux made with flour and butter and some shredded cheese. I decided to add some flavor and body so I threw in a couple of onions and potatoes to the boiling broccoli. Since I haven’t yet stocked my pantry and didn’t have chicken broth, I had to rely on chicken bouillon granules, which I made up with the broccoli cooking water (to not lose any of the goodness of the veggies). Finally, not having shredded cheese either, I used cream cheese instead. Amazingly I had the milk, butter and flour!

Even though my little nugget was loitering in the kitchen saying “nammm” and sniffing the air as I cooked, her initial reaction to the soup which I served with a microwaved salmon patty, was not good. Daddy was feeding her and snuck in a spoonful of soup as she was wolfing down morsels of salmon. She grimaced and stuck her hand in her mouth as if to pull out the offensive food. Then the spoon was pushed away several times as she continued to eat her salmon. With two pieces of fish left I suggested daddy drizzle some soup on the fish. When she reached for the fish and felt the soup, she seemed all done. As a last resort I suggested putting the bowl on her high chair tray and letting her dip the spoon in the soup since she likes to do this with the last bits of her cereal or yogurt. Amazingly, it worked! Soon, she’d given back control of the spoon to daddy and was leaning in with her mouth open like a little bird, while also dipping her fingers in the soup and sucking on them (after proudly displaying her soupy hand to me). Success! For one meal anyway.

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