Saturday, February 5, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I've been really into broccoli lately. I guess I need my iron and vitamins. And when am I not into cheese? So I tried some broccoli-cheese soup. It turned out ok - tasty but with some lessons learned. Here it is with my suggestions for improvement.

Recipe from the Joy of Cooking's "All About Vegetarian Cooking".

- 3 Tablespoons butter or veg oil (or more!)
- 1 cup chopped onions (or a bit more)
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 4 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
- 1 potato, chopped (not in the recipe, I added)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 cups veggie stock
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups grated Cheddar cheese (increased from 2 in recipe) - the sharper the better in my opinion!
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (I used ground mustard, but Dijon would be good)
- salt and pepper to taste
- hot pepper sauce to taste
- Worcestershire sauce to taste

- Melt the butter/heat the oil in a big pot over medium heat.
- Add the vegetables and cook, stirring, at least 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir all together another 5 minutes or so. Careful not to burn the flour.
- Gradually add the stock and milk. Cook until the veggie are tender, 5 to 10 minutes more (I didn't cook it long enough, so the veggies weren't that tender. They would be better cooked a bit longer.)
- Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. (I do this in batches and miss some chunks - but that's ok with me.)
- Return the soup to the pot and bring to a low simmer. Stir in the cheese gradually until smooth. Don't let the soup boil - the cheese will break down too much.
- Season with the rest of the spices and flavorings.
- Top with more grated cheese for serving.

As noted above, I needed to cook my veggie longer for it to be perfect. And I highly recommend sharp cheddar for the topping, even if you use something milder in the soup. Enjoy!

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