The polar vortex has arrived here in the Northeast, reaching its icy fingers right down into my neck-of-the-woods. Many of you across the U.S. know what I’m talking about as you-all are having it too. What never ceases to amaze me is how abruptly the weather can change. Someone ( ?who) once said ” if you don’t like the weather around here, just wait a minute.” As an example yesterday morning when I got up it was pouring rain and the temperature was 60*F. All the snow from a few days ago had melted. This morning when I got up the temperature was 11*F. with a wind chill of -15*, and there was a dusting of snow back on the ground. BRRRRR!!
This was one day I was so happy to stay indoors. Since I had gone to the library yesterday, I had some good reading waiting for me, plus I’m so behind on my magazines I haven’t finished reading about Thanksgiving yet! A good day to spend under a quilt trying to stay warm, reading and getting caught up…..and thinking about what’s for supper. Actually, it didn’t take much thought; on a day like this one, I want hot soup.
After rummaging around in the refrigerator I found a large bunch of broccoli that immediately made me think of cream of broccoli soup. This didn’t exactly fit into my plans for eating “lighter” meals because of the cream content, so I searched through my cookbooks for a more suitable recipe for broccoli soup. This is what I came up with……
BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
Yield: Serves 4 – 6
- 1 large bunch of broccoli, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 4 cups chicken broth, preferably low sodium (vegetable broth may be substituted for a vegetarian version)
- 2 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil or steam the broccoli until tender. Drain and set aside.
2. While broccoli cooks, melt butter in a soup kettle. Saute shallots and garlic in the butter until tender.
3. Sprinkle flour into the kettle and stir over low heat until blended. Add chicken broth and continue stirring until mixture is smooth.
4. Add the broccoli to the broth mixture. Using an immersion blender or regular blender puree the soup mixture until uniformly blended.
5. Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
This soup is surprisingly thick, because of the flour added to the broth, and because of pureeing the broccoli. Be sure you use a large head of broccoli so there is adequate to thicken the soup. The cheese also adds some thickening, and its flavor is a nice addition. I also added a pinch of nutmeg to my soup though it is not included with the ingredients. Though this is a lightened up version of cream of broccoli soup, it still has a rich taste and texture. I didn’t miss the cream at all!
Note: If broccoli is not available, cauliflower may be used instead.
Stop back again tomorrow for directions for making the filled sandwich you see in the above picture.
SOURCE: The Flavor of New England, Soups, Chowders, and Stews