Broccoli has always been one of my favorite veggies, but it was not until I was a little older when I really began to appreciate broccoli. See, when I was younger I would happily eat raw broccoli as a snack, but once it was cooked it started to lose it’s appeal for me, see overcooked broccoli was a common occurrence in my house, to remedy the sad state of our side dish my mother often melted a slice of American cheese over the broccoli, which only seemed to create a strong aversion to broccoli and processed cheese food later in life. It was while I was working at Eastview Mall (light years ago), when one of my co-workers was going to the food court and taking lunch orders, for the Fruit & Salad Company I asked for “whatever soup looked good”. She came back with Cheese and broccoli soup, I was not super thrilled and I instantly had visions of over-cooked broccoli in a processed cheesy soup, but the idea of continuing selling overpriced undergarments with low blood sugar was not appealing. So I sat down to my soup and, it was good, no it was better than good! No congealed rubbery yellow cheese and grey broccoli this was rich and creamy with lots of flavor. It turns out it is not that hard to make a rich restaurant quality broccoli soup at home, this is great with a loaf of crusty bread, and this reheats really well for lunch the next day too.
I still like to pick up soups from the Fruit & Salad Company when I am in the area. But it is really nice to be able to make your own too
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small chopped onion
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 8 cups fresh broccoli florets
- pinch of nutmeg
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium sized stock pot, sauté onion, garlic and celery in butter until soft. Add broccoli and stock, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until broccoli is cooked.
- Pour half of the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Carefully puree the broccoli mixture until smooth, and return to stock pot. If you prefer a completely smooth soup, puree up to the entire batch of broccoli mixture, just make sure to work in batches if needed so you are only filling the blender halfway to avoid any overflows of hot soup.
- Melt butter in a small sauce pan, whisk in flour and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the milk. Stir until thick and bubbly, and add to broccoli soup in stock put and stir well to completely distribute milk mixture throughout soup.
- Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in nutmeg.