* 2 bunches broccoli (about 3 pounds)
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 8 cloves garlic, sliced (this sounds like a lot, but it mellows beautifully with slow-cooking)
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
* 6 cups good-quality vegetable broth
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
* Toasted slices of French bread, for serving
* Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional, for serving
1. Cut off the broccoli florets and chop them. Trim off the bottom 2 inches of each stem, peel them, and thinly slice. Combine the broccoli, oil, garlic, thyme, broth, wine, and lemon juice in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.
2. Puree the soup with a handheld immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender and puree in batches. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls, passing the toast and Parmesan cheese.