Broccoli cheddar soup

March 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

I love cheddar and I’m a fan of broccoli. I very much like the soup. But this is the best version I’ve ever had. ATK comes through again!

From them (April 2011): WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS–

Overcooking the broccoli in our Broccoli-Cheese Soup recipe coaxed all the flavor out of it. Adding a bit of baking soda to the cooking water sped up the cooking process, and pureeing fresh baby spinach along with the other ingredients brightened the Broccoli-Cheese Soup’s bright green color and enhanced its vegetable flavor. Finally, cheddar and Parmesan gave our soup adequate cheesy flavor without making it heavy.

It’s amazing how good this soup is. It’s amazing it’s this good without any cream. Amazing.

The Stuff

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 pounds broccoli, florets roughly chopped into 1″ pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4″ thick slices

1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed (2 tsp)

1 1/2 tsp dry mustard (leaving this out for people who despise mustard doesn’t affect taste)

Pinch cayenne

table salt

3-4 cups water

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or veg broth if necessary)

2 oz baby spinach (2 loosely packed cups)

3 oz sharp cheddar, shredded (3/4 cup)

1 1/2 oz Parm, grated fine (3/4 cup), plus extra to top when serving

Ground black pepper

The Plan

1.  Heat butter in large Dutch oven over med-high heat. When foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant (~6 minutes).

2. Add 1 cup of water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft (~20 minutes). Stir once during cooking.

3. Add broth and 2 cups of water. Increase heat to medium high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted (~1-2 minutes).

4. Transfer half of soup to blender. Add cheddar and parm and process until smooth (~1 minute)

5. Transfer soup in blender to medium bowl and repeat with rest of soup.

6. Return soup to Dutch oven, place on medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust consistency with up to 1 cup water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with extra parmesan if desired.

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