Friday, April 1, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup


* We linked this post at Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade  and Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist *

Earlier this month I posted a broccoli soup that I liked, but it  lacked the cheesy creaminess that you might expect when ordering broccoli soup at a restaurant.  The common household method (and probably at most restaurants too) of making a broccoli cheese soup is to use a block of Velveeta-- a far cry from "real" cheese.  This recipe, uses all real ingredients, and resulted in a wonderfully smooth and cheesy goodness that even a toddler should have a hard time turning down.  In this recipe you also get to learrn fancy terms like roux, bechamel, and mornay. 

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 stick grass fed butter plus 1 Tbl extra
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup raw medium cream
  • 1 cup raw milk
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2-3 heads broccoli
  • approx 2 cups homemade chicken broth (adjust according to texture)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 lb extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Making the Roux
Begin by melting the butter in a sauce pan over medium/high heat and then add the flour to it.  Reduce heat to medium and then wisk the butter and flour constantly for several minutes.

As the flour toasts it will begin to foam.  Now, you don't want the flour to toast too long for this soup.  The foaming should begin to slow down, but don't wait for it to subside completely before proceeding to the next step.  You now have what's known as a roux.

Making the Bechamel
After you have your roux, dump in the 2 cups of cream and milk.  You can actually choose whatever mixture of cream and milk you want.  I decided to do a "half and half" to add a bit more creaminess to the soup.  At this point you can add your pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper if you like.


Wisk this mixture until it the milk heats up and become thickened.  You now have what's known as a bechamel sauce.

Making the Mornay
The final step for making the cheese sauce is to add the cheese.  Feel free to use whatever combination of cheeses you like.  I used a combination of raw white chedder and yellow chedder.  Mmmm... just look at that cheesy goodness.  This is what known as a mornay. You could probably cover dirt with this sauce and it will taste good, but we're going to proceed with using broccoli instead.

While you are making your cheese sauce you should be doing two other things. Time to master your multi-tasking kitchen skills. 

First, steam your broccoli.  You can actually steam this a bit longer than you'd like it if eating steamed broccoli by itself.  You want this soup to be smooth so softer broccoli is a good thing.

Second, cook your onion in a pan with the 1 Tbl butter.  Cook until the onion is translucent.

After the broccoli and onion are done, combine them in a blender with the chicken stock. Start with just a little bit of the stock.  The idea is to add a little bit of stock at a time so that the broccoli mixtures matches the consistancy of the cheese sauce; nice and thick. 


After that's done, combine the broccoli mixture with the cheese sauce and heat on medium until the soup is brought up to a good serving temperature. 

Garnish the soup with my tasty sourdough garlic croutons and you are all set to enjoy broccoli at its best.
Enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. I have a similar recipe that also adds some carrots into the soup. It's really good and you would never even know that they are there.

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  2. @Sarah boo: Excellent idea. Another common vegetable added to this soup is cauliflower. My wife can't stand cauliflower though and has superhuman powers for detecting it in anything.

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  3. thanks so much I love broccoli cheese soup but have had a hard time finding a relatively easy real food recipe!

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