I’d like to begin with a small rant about soup recipes that are half butter and cream. Butter is a beautiful thing, but the quantity of butter fat in your basic cream soup recipe should be a violation of some sort of public health code. The bigger picture issue is that broccoli soup tastes a lot better when the broccoli can be tasted, and not smothered in cream. I just happened upon a recipe for Broccoli Cheddar soup from a restaurant chain that’s known for some tasty soups. The recipe that served 4 called for 2 cups of half and half, a stick of butter and two cups of cheddar cheese. I’m not kidding. So I took a stab at reining in the fat and it wasn’t rocket science. Upping the quantity of pureed vegetables is all that’s needed to increase the thickness. This was delicious, and no one at the table requested a side of half and half.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 cups chopped fresh broccoli
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup celery
- 1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup half and half or milk
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- In a large frying pan, saute chopped onions in olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
- Add celery, carrots and broccoli. Reduce heat and cover for another 5 minutes, adding a few tablespoons of water to allow the vegetables to steam a bit.
- In a large sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Have 1/4 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of half and half and the vegetable stock measured out and close at hand.
- When the butter is melted, quickly whisk in flour. Add the half and half in a slow stream, whisking constantly. The mixture should thicken quickly.
- Continue whisking and slowly and very slowly add two cups of vegetable stock.
- Reduce heat. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Combine cooked vegetables into the sauce pan and remove from heat. Add the remaining vegetable stock.
- Puree the vegetables using a immersion blender, or transfer to a blender to puree in batches. Once soup is 90% blended (a few chunks add to the character), reheat and stir in shredded cheddar. Serve warm.