Broccoli-Cheese Soup

Broccoli-Cheese Soup
from the kitchen of Ellen, thanks to Cook’s Illustrated, March/April 2011

  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 lbs broccoli, florets roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces, stems trimmed, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups low-sodium broth
  • 2 oz baby spinach (2 loosely packed cups)
  • 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated fine (3/4 cup), plus extra for serving
  • ground black pepper
  • butter in large Dutch oven over medium high heat.  When foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes.  Add 1 cup water and baking soda.  Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.
  • broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium high.  When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minute.  Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 2 minute (or use stick blender).  Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup.  Return soup to Dutch oven, place over medium heat and bring to simmer.  Adjust consistency of soup with up to 1 cup of water.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • topping with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, if desired.


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