Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Broccoli Cheese Soup November 30, 2009

Filed under: lunch,soup — freerangenurse @ 5:15 pm

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!

After thoughts:

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.

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