Broccoli Soup with Prosciutto Crisps
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 whole clove garlic, crushed
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 heads broccoli with stems, cut coarsely
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half
Warm ½ tablespoon olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is light golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. Add the prosciutto and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally, until crispy and light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broccoli, chicken stock and enough water to cover the broccoli by 1 inch. Over high heat, bring to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Add the half-and-half and season with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add water to thin to a thick heavy cream consistency.
To serve, heat the soup and ladle into bowls. Garnish with prosciutto and serve immediately.