30-MINUTE BROCCOLI & FETA SOUP
GLUTEN-FREE
This soup was originally destined for a block of sharp cheddar until I realized, at
the last minute, that my husband had used the last bit of cheese to make a
quesadilla…for me! Go figure. On a whim, I used feta instead. Combined with
onions and celery from my stash of Pre-Chopped Vegetables, this soup came
together quickly, about 30 minutes or so, and was unexpectedly delicious. The
feta adds a touch of subtle creaminess and does not overpower the natural
sweetness of the broccoli.
PS: The secret to bright green soup is to briefly cook the broccoli and purée with
a generous handful of parsley.
SERVES 4-6
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 cup (160 g) diced onions
½ cup (50 g) diced celery
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large Yukon Gold potato, skin on, about 1½ cups (225 g) diced
4 cups (946 ml) Triple-Duty Chicken Stock, plus more as needed
6 cups (546 g) broccoli florets
⅓ cup (20 g) parsley leaves
⅓ cup (50 g) feta cheese
TOPPINGS
Extra feta crumbles
Handful of parsley leaves
Drizzle of olive oil
In a large, heavy-bottom pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the
onions, celery and smashed garlic cloves until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Season
with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and give it a quick stir.
Pour in the stock. Place the lid on top and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Reduce
the heat to low and simmer (lid tilted) for about 10-15 minutes or until the
potatoes are soft.
Add the broccoli and cook briefly, about 3-4 minutes. Quick Tip: Be careful not to
overcook the broccoli at this stage; the soup will turn yellowish-green (in terms
of flavor it’s not the end of the world; it just might look like swamp water).
Working in batches, carefully purée the soup with the parsley leaves and feta.
You can do this using a hand blender, food processor or regular blender. I like
this soup rustic style, somewhere in between smooth and chunky. But the texture
is up to you. Add additional stock or water if necessary.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with extra feta crumbles, parsley
leaves and a drizzle of olive oil

 

SIMPLE BRAISED BEEF WITH PASTA
Traditionally, browning beef in a hot pan prior to braising is a classic cooking
technique; it seals the meat and locks in flavor. But for time’s sake, who needs
rules? I’ve eliminated this step with surprisingly excellent results. Plus, I’m using
a large 3-pound to 4-pound (1.4-1.8-kg) chuck roast, which can be cumbersome
to sear in the first place. Combine the beef with Pre-Chopped Vegetables in your
slow cooker, hit the button and you’re done. After six to eight hours of hands-off
cooking, the beef will become incredibly tender, flavorful and melt-in-yourmouth
delicious.

 

3-4-lb (1.4-1.8-kg) whole beef chuck roast
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (160 g) diced onions
½ cup (65 g) diced carrots
½ cup (50 g) diced celery
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil (optional), plus more for drizzling
1 (28-oz [794-g]) can of whole plum tomatoes in thick purée
¼ cup (65 g) tomato paste
1 lb (454 g) pappardelle pasta
Wedge of Parmesan cheese, for grating
Pat the beef dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Season all
sides with salt and pepper.
Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic to a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker. Quick
Tip: If you have time, sauté the vegetables in 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil
before adding to the slow cooker (otherwise, throw them in raw).
Place the beef on top of the vegetables. Pour in the canned tomatoes and tomato
paste.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, checking on the beef at the 6-hour mark. You’ll know
it’s ready when the meat is fall-apart tender, and shreds easily with a fork.
Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to rest, about 10 minutes.
Pour the tomato braising liquid from the slow cooker into a large, 12-inch (30-
cm) skillet. This is your sauce for the pasta. Adjust the heat to low, and skim
away any fat that rises to the top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the pasta, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook according to the package
instructions. Drain and set aside. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Using two forks (or your hands), shred the beef into bite-size pieces. Sample a
few pieces as you go—it’s so tender! Add the beef to the sauce and stir gently to
combine.
To serve, ladle your delicious slow-cooked beef over the pasta and sprinkle with
freshly grated Parmesan cheese.