Seared Broccoli-Potato Chowder

I love making soup, but I am not a big fan of boiling broccoli.  This recipe sears the broccoli in a skillet, which avoids bad smells and adds extra flavor from caramelization.  I used mild-ish poblano chiles for this but you can just use different peppers — sweeter or hotter — instead.  Substitute more olive oil for the butter to make a vegan soup.Cut the florets off 2 heads of broccoli and slice the largest ones in half.  Peel the tough skin off the stems and discard, then chop the stems into smaller pieces.

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large soup pot and add a single layer of broccoli on the bottom.  Sprinkle with salt and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes, until it is well-browned on one side only.  Transfer the broccoli to a bowl or plate and repeat until you’ve seared all the broccoli.  You will need to add more oil.

Sear 1 fresh whole poblano pepper on all sides (you can do this in a separate pan).  Allow to cool, then remove the stem and seeds as well as any blackened skin.  Chop the pepper roughly.

Lower the heat and add 2 T. butter and another 2 T. olive oil to the pot.   Trim and clean 1-2 leeks, then dice finely to make 2 C.  Add to the pot along with 5 minced cloves of garlic and the poblano pepper.  Cook until the leeks are completely soft.

Peel and thinly slice potatoes to make 2 C.  Add to the pot along with 1 quart of water, 1 tsp. salt and lots of black pepper.  Bring a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Add the broccoli and simmer for another 5-7 minutes, until it is also tender.

Puree roughly in the pot with an immersion blender, leaving a few chunks for texture.  Add the juice of one lemon, and season with salt and pepper.


Skating Rink or Peach Orchard?

My first lesson about the risks that cold weather poses to fruit trees came from reading John Nichol’s “New Mexico Trilogy”, which included the Milagro Beanfield War. In the fictional valley where the novels are set, the farmers never got … Continue reading

Good Content vs. Good Neighbors

Over the many years I’ve been writing this newsletter, there have been many stories I’ve wanted to tell but couldn’t.  Some of the most “interesting” things that have happened on the farm involved people.  But our farm is a small … Continue reading

Happy Februly!

February is a sleepy month on most farms, even at Terra Firma.  The cold, wet weather of December and January has taken a toll on our winter vegetables, slow down harvest.  And the orchards and other permanent crops are still … Continue reading