2 pounds broccoli
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
5 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups packed spinach
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
3/4 cup heavy cream or buttermilk (if using buttermilk, cut the lemon zest in half)
Give the broccoli a rough chop to get it into 2-inch pieces.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a deep soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 3 minutes and then add the garlic. Lower the heat to medium and season with salt. Cook the vegetables slowly until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the thyme and stir. Add the chopped broccoli, stock, salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the broccoli is very tender. Stir in the spinach and lemon zest. The spinach will wilt into the soup.
Puree the soup in a blender in small batches or use an immersion blender. If you used a blender, return the soup to the pot and reheat over a gentle heat. Stir in the cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Ladle into warm bowls and serve with crusty bread.