2005: This is one great soup. Let me say it differently: this is one GREAT soup. The cumin and mustard deepen and sharpen the flavor of an otherwise bland mix of vegetables. The potato softens and creams the broth. The peppers and broccoli just look pretty and taste good! It takes some time to make but can be cooked partway, then rewarmed and finished later in all of 20 minutes. For anyone watching calories, it is just as delicious without the cheddar cheese.
2010: When I return to an early recipe from the first year of A Veggie Venture, I wonder if it will stand up to its memory. This recipe does -- and more. It's a really delicious broccoli cheese soup, one to turn to again and again.
RECIPE for BROCCOLI POTATO CHEDDAR SOUP
Time to table: 90 minutes
Makes 9 cups
6 cups vegetable stock or chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1 - 2 red peppers, diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound broccoli, trimmed aggressively (see TIPS), stems diced, florets reserved
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, skins on, diced
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
Bring the broth to a boil in the microwave. (This is a time-saving tip and can be skipped if there's no rush.)
Melt the butter over MEDIUM HIGH in a Dutch oven. Add the onion and peppers as they're prepped, then the garlic. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. While the onion/pepper cooks, gather together the flour/spice mixtures in a small bowl (this is a keep-moving technique that can be skipped if there's no rush); trim the broccoli and dice the potato; SET ASIDE the broccoli florets; grate the cheese.
Stir the flour/spice mixture into the onions/peppers until well combined, let cook about 1 minute (this lets the flour cook just a bit, removing a floury texture/flavor). A bit at a time, add the broth, incorporating well each time. (If you do this too fast, you'll end up with floury lumps, yuck.) Add the potatoes and broccoli stems (still reserving the top-bit florets). Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to MEDIUM. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes. (If you're cooking ahead, stop here and refrigerate til ready to serve. Return to a boil before continuing.)
Add the broccoli florets and cheddar and let cook for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is cooked but not mushy. Serve immediately.
I think frozen broccoli would work great, too.
How to agressively trim the broccoli (instructions come from StephenCooks): "Cut the last 1/4" from the end of the stalks, use a paring knife to trim any gnarly stumps or little branches from the stalks and then, using a vegetable peeler, peel the tough outer skin from the stalks, starting at the base of the flower and going to the end of the stalks. Some larger stalks have a fairly thick skin and may need two passes of the peeler. You can tell when you got it all when the inner flesh of the stalk is exposed, it has a softer wet-green look, with no fibers visible and a consistency like a cut radish or potato."
~ Never-the-Same Steamed Broccoli ~
~ Perfect Pan-Fried Broccoli ~
~ Asian Broccoli in the Microwave ~
~ more broccoli recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Quick Broccoli Soup ~
~ Smashed Potatoes & Broccoli ~
~ Power Food Broccoli Salad ~
~ more recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column