1 Tbs. olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, halved
4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets and tender stems (1 large bunch)
1 ½ cups water
1 can (14 ½ oz.) vegetable broth
½ cup slivered or whole blanched almonds, toasted,* divided
2 Tbs. lemon juice
½ tsp. hot pepper sauce
Salt, to taste
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tbs. sliced almonds, toasted *
* To toast almonds, spread in an ungreased baking pan. Place in 350-degree oven and bake 5 to 10 minutes or until almonds are light brown; stir once or twice to assure even browning. Note that almonds will continue to brown slightly after removing from oven.
Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is transparent and golden, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli, water and broth. Bring to simmering and simmer just until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli mixture and slivered or blanched almonds to container of blender, filling up to the 4-cup capacity mark, or as manufacturer directs. Remove or open center of lid and begin blending at the lowest speed. Blend until almost smooth. Return to saucepan. Bring just to boiling over medium-low heat. Mix in lemon juice and pepper sauce. Season with salt. Ladle into bowls and add 1 Tablespoon sour cream to each. Garnish with sliced almonds.
Makes 4 (1-cup) servings.