Lucky for me the weather is finally turning. That means it is time to use up the spring vegetables before they all flower and go to seed. I harvested all of the broccoli because it was threatening to do just that. With so much broccoli florets and stalks on hand I thought that broccoli cheese soup would offer a good solution.
Who doesn’t love a quick, warm, creamy soup…wait did I forget to say cheesy? I love all of these qualities in a good soup. I do also love a low fat, low calorie soup, but this one is not going to be it. Usually I use 1% milk, but my soup is never creamy or smooth enough. So this time I used heavy cream. It definitely worked, but I am starting to feel like Paula Deen with the amount of heavy cream and butter I have been using!
Ingredients (makes four dinner sized bowls)
2 C heavy cream
2 C chicken stock
4 T butter
3 T flour
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
10 oz broccoli, florets and stems
2 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1 t kosher salt
1 t freshly cracked black pepper
dash of cayenne, optional
Cut broccoli into bite sized chunks. Dice onion and mince garlic. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Set aside. Add 3 tablespoon of butter to a stock pot (I used a 3 quart), melt and add flour. Combine butter and flour into a smooth paste (roux) and cook for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Whisk in broth and cream and bring just to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add sautéed vegetables. Simmer for 5-10 minutes avoiding a full boil. Stir in cheese with a whisk until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper(s).
Top with croutons or serve with garlic toast.
A note: this soup is best served right when it is made. It has a tendancy to thicken up a lot in the refrigerator. Should you need to refrigerate it you can use some milk to thin it out when reheating.