A Menu in Honour of Broccoli Soup (Gluten-free Popovers, Green Salad and Baked Apples)

The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas is organized by Menus.  Ms. Thomas pairs this brocolli soup with a green salad, popovers and an apple pudding.  I recommend this menu with all my heart, although my popovers are gluten-free.  I think that they are just as good as the traditional ones.    If you want to make traditional popovers, the recipes for that are easy to come by.  Also, I prefer simple baked apples to the pudding, so that is what I will share here.  If you want a fancier desert, either aPear Sambuca pie or Poached Pear and Cardamom Apple Butter Tart  would be excellent.


from the New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas

  • 1 and 3/4 pounds broccoli washed, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds yellow onion (about 3), coarsely  chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken broth
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon flour ( I use bob’s red mill gluten-free flour)
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • a generous pinch of cayenne pepper
  1. Saute the onions in 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter until they just start to turn golden.  Do not brown.
  2. Meanwhile combine the potatoes, celery, water and broth in a pot.  If your broth is not salted add some now.  Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli pieces to the soup pot along with the sautéed onion and simmer for another ten minutes until everything is tender.
  4. When the vegetables are tender add the lemon juice and process the soup in a blender or using a submersion blender.  Do not over process.  The soup should still have some rough texture.
  5. In another, smaller pot melt the remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of butter and then add the flour.  Stir the roux for a few minutes until it becomes a pale gold colour.  Add the hot milk in a steady stream while whisking (it helps to have a friend).  Continue whisking until all the lumps are gone.  Allow it to come to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat.  Let it simmer and continue whisking it until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Whisk in the mustard and cayenne into the white sauce.  Stir the white sauce into the soup.
  7. Taste the soup and if needed  adjust the salt, lemon juice, cayenne and mustard in the soup.



This soup reminds me of a meal that I ate in a cafe in Horseshoe Bay when I was a teenager.  My best friend Helena and I had gone to Shannon Falls with Helena’s mother and she took us to this gallery and cafe for lunch on the way home.  We ate a brocolli soup that stands out in my food memories as one of the more delicious things I have ever eaten.  I think that we also had smoked fish as part of that meal…so I always want to have a bit of smoked fish on the salad.  Try this  salad.

  • Arugula rinsed and dried
  • Smoked trout or salmon
  • Radishes scrubbed and sliced thin
  • Avocado Sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Raspberry vinegar
  • Maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper
Compose the fish, avacado and radishes on a bed of arugola.  Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper.   Drizzle the dressing over the salad just before serving.

**Please note!  since writing this post, I found another gluten-free popover recipe that I like even better.  This one is good if you cannot get Bob’s Red Mill all- purpose baking flour.  But if you can get that product, go here for a better gluten-free popover recipe!

I use the same gluten-free rice flour mix for these as I do for the gluten-free pie crust.  Combine 2 cups brown rice flour, 2/3 cups potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour.  This will make enough for 3 pop-over recipes and will store forever in a sealed container.

  • 1 cup gluten-free rice flour mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cup milk, slightly warm
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoon butter, melted
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place a 12 cup pop-over or muffin tin in the warming oven.
  2. Mix the flour, gum and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Blend the milk, melted butter and eggs in a blender until the mixture is uniform.
  4. Add the flour mixture and blend until all the lumps are gone.  The lumps will make the popovers fall!  Get them all out.
  5. Remove the muffin or pop over tins from the oven and generously butter them.  Fill each cup 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.  Don’t open the oven!
  6. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake another 10 minutes
  7. Serve them warm!Gluten-Free Popovers


This does not require a recipe, but here are a few tips.  Some apples are better than others for baking.  Golden Delicious and MacIntosh are examples of good baking apples.  Carefully cut the core out of each apple and place them on a baking sheet.  You can stuff the apple with yummy things such as dried cranberries, chopped pecans or hazelnuts or candied ginger.  The best stuffing I ever used was almond meal creamed with butter and studded with candied ginger.  A pat of butter on top is nice.  A sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar is nice too.  If you have leftover toffee sauce from making sticky toffee pudding that is VERY nice on top.  Bake the apples at 350 degrees until the skins split and they are absolutely soft.  Eat them!

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