Roasted Broccoli Soup

by Anne Maxfield on December 4, 2014

Accidental Locavore Roasted Broccoli SoupWhen the Accidental Locavore saw this recipe, it looked like a no-brainer and then when my cousin offered me the pumpkin seeds (they’re the garnish) from her Halloween effort, it became a must-try. This made about a quart of soup. The list looks long, but half of it is for the pumpkin seeds which can be made in advance.Accidental Locavore Roasted Broccoli


For the soup:

  • 2 pounds broccoli, stalks cut into ½” slices and quartered, and heads cut into florets
  • 10 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, run through a garlic press
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • Salt

Accidental Locavore Pumpkin SeedsFor the pumpkin seeds:

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt


Preheat oven to 375°. Spread the broccoli on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast until broccoli is tender and browned, about 25 minutes.

In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coriander and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add roasted broccoli, buttermilk, and just enough stock to barely cover vegetables. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Working in batches if necessary, transfer vegetables and liquid to a blender. Blend broccoli until a smooth puree forms (be careful and don’t over-fill the blender). Slowly add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil while blender is running. Return the soup to the pot and add as much of the remaining stock as necessary to thin to your desired consistency. Season with salt to taste. Serve with pumpkin seed garnish and enjoy!

Pumpkin Seeds:

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with 2 tablespoons olive oil, coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and turmeric. Season with salt. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Taste and add more salt to taste.

My verdict: There are things that work and things that don’t. In this case, the pumpkin seeds are definitely worth doing (although I added a lot more salt than the recipe called for), and make a great snack! Any kind of winter squash seeds will work as well. The soup on the other hand was a big disappointment. Even with multiple blending, it still had little tough bits of broccoli – probably from the stems – that were annoying. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a big broccoli taste either. I would have thought that roasting it would have given it a lot of flavor. Frank thought there was too much oil in it and I thought it badly needed seasoning, but even salt, cumin and lemon zest didn’t go far enough.




Back to Butter – Got Culture?

by Anne Maxfield on April 3, 2014

Accidental Locavore Cultured ButterSince even regular homemade butter just isn’t trendy enough these days, the Accidental Locavore decided to try making cultured butter. The difference? Instead of beating cream until it turns into butter, there’s an aging/culturing process. It sounds difficult or complicated, but it really just means dumping some crème fraîche in with the cream and letting it sit overnight. Here’s how it comes together:

  • 1 quart heavy cream (try to find some that’s not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche or buttermilk
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ice water

Whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl (I used the one from my mixer). Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 12-48 hours. Accidental Locavore Culturing Cream

Refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Put the cream in a bowl for a stand mixer (if it’s not already), attach to mixer and cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a pouring shield if you have one). Mix on high for about 4 minutes until the butter starts to form a ball. You’ll know when it’s turning into butter because the plastic wrap will suddenly become totally spattered on.

Accidental Locavore Kneading ButterStrain the liquid and solids in a fine sieve over a bowl. Place the solids back in the mixing bowl and knead to get rid of any excess buttermilk. Pour off the excess buttermilk.  Pour ¼ cup of the ice water over the butter and knead again, pouring off the excess buttermilk. Repeat until the water is almost clear. Knead the butter until all the water is gone.

Form the butter into a cylinder or block, wrap it in cheese cloth and gently squeeze to get rid of any remaining moisture. Remove the cheese cloth and wrap the butter in plastic wrap. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Although you need to let this cultivate (I left it about 24 hours), it comes together so much faster than just whipping cream in a mixer! Mine had a nice, sweet taste and a smooth texture. I cut it up and froze most of it for a later use. I was lucky enough to find some decent cream that hadn’t been ultra-pasteurized and didn’t break the bank, so my (close to a) pound of butter cost about $6 in materials – definitely worth it!




Accidental Locavore Recipe for Crème Fraîche

by Anne Maxfield on June 27, 2011

Accidental Locavore Creme FraicheThe Accidental Locavore sometimes has leftover buttermilk from making biscuits and unlike my mother, drinking it, is not for me. However, crème fraîche is the answer and it couldn’t be easier. Makes a cup.

  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup of heavy (whipping) cream (not ultra-pasteurized)

Mix the buttermilk and cream in a glass container. Cover and let it stand at room temperature for 8-24 hours until very thick. Refrigerate. It will keep (and get a bit thicker) in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Serve and enjoy.



Cold Cucumber Soup Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on July 16, 2010

Cold Cucumber Soup RecipeGot cucumbers?

This is a refreshing cold cucumber soup with a bit of a kick (adapted from Food & Wine Magazine) and if your CSA share always has a lot of cucumbers like the Accidental Locavore’s always does, this is a good way to use them.

It’s easy and tasty and comes together quickly. Serves 6:

1 pound of cucumbers (about 3), peeled, seeded and chopped into 1” pieces. To seed a cucumber, cut in half the long way, and run a teaspoon down through the seeds until they’re all gone
10 pepperoncini. Stem and coarsely chop 4-5 of them, use the rest for garnish
¼ cup of the juice from the peperoncini jar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dill chopped
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup buttermilk
• ¼ teaspoon cumin
(or more to taste)
Put all ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until it’s as smooth as you like (I like mine a little coarse). Chill.

Serve the cucumber soup with extra pepperoncini and dill as garnish and enjoy!

My verdict: This cold cucumber soup has become a go-to because our CSA share often has pounds of cucumbers (and if some of them are pickling cukes, use the extra dill for quick pickles). It may seem like a lot of heat so if you don’t like a lot of spice, add the pepperoncini a couple at a time and taste it as you go along. Same with the cumin. If you have extra buttermilk it can actually be frozen and I measure out 1 cup portions and freeze them in Ziploc bags. Lay them flat in the freezer and then you can stack them (takes up less space than round containers). Or, if you’ve got some heavy cream, make your own créme fraîche.