Can I say that I *love* cheese? I mean I have a deep, deep love for almost all things with the word cheese in the title. Two exceptions I can think of in a pinch are head cheese (which I am pretty sure has nothing to do with dairy cheese) and cottage cheese. It should come as no surprise, then, that I love broccoli cheese soup. I recently decided to try my hand at it. I decided if I was going to find a good, from scratch recipe, a good place to start would be epicurious.com because their sources are foodie magazines such as Gourmet and Bon Apetit. The recipe I found was for cream of broccoli soup with cheddar, but I decided to use it anyway and just make a few changes. It turned out pretty good. Give it a try if you are like me and have a love affair with cheese.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
(adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2001)
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
- 2 pounds fresh (or frozen) broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 6 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 8 ounces grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems, onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, shallots and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tenter, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream.
Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in a small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup. Add florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add shredded cheese and stir until melted. Ladle into soup bowl, garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired and enjoy!
The broccoli florets could probably be added sooner, as I found them to be a little too much like raw broccoli. The soup was better the second and third days because the broccoli softened up by then. In hindsight, I think frozen broccoli would have been a better texture, in my opinion.