I hate frozen broccoli. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t discover this out until after I had bought a giant bag of organic frozen broccoli florets from Costco. Note to self: no matter how great a deal it seems, it’s a waste of money if you hate it.
So… what to do with enough mushy broccoli to see you through the apocalypse?
Well, first you try to foist it off on others in frozen casseroles. And then you make a lot of soup, in which the broccoli is puréed into a fine smooth texture that doesn’t go ‘mush’ in your mouth, and then it is lovingly blended with sour cream and melted cheddar goodness. And you may look at this recipe and say, carrot peel? What the heck? Well, I buy big carrots and put carrot sticks in my husband and son’s lunches. I peel the carrots for raw eating and save the peels for soup and stock making.
I get cheese, I get yummy soup, and I haven’t wasted my money. We in the industry like to refer to this as a “win-win.”
Fair warning: my husband and I disagreed over the final flavour of this. I liked it as it was, with more cracked black pepper and dried thyme garnished on top. He liked it spicy with hot pepper. So I left the “some-like-it-hot” option, and you may have to tweak to your personal taste preferences in the last few minutes. Or just stick the bottle of Tabasco on the table and call it good.
Sorry, I couldn’t bear to leave some whole chunk florets. Just reserve a cup of it and add it at the end if you like it chunky.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||15 minutes|
|Total time||30 minutes|
|Dietary||Gluten Free, Vegetarian|
- 1/2 onion, coarse chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 stalks celery, coarse chopped (about 1-1 1/2 cup)
- 4 cups chicken broth (1x 941 ML box)
- 3 cups frozen broccoli florettes
- 2 cups potato, unpeeled & cubed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar (old or medium)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- carrot peels from 1 carrot (or a couple baby carrots, split)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- hot pepper (to taste)
|Step 1.||In a soup pot, sauté the onion, garlic, and celery in the olive oil until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 7-10m.|
|Step 2.||Add the broth, carrot peels, potatoes, and frozen broccoli (reserving about 1 cup of florets if you like your soup chunky). Boil until soft, about 10m, and add the seasoning in the last few minutes.|
|Step 3.||Use an immersion blender to purée the soup, or if you're immersion blenderless like me, cool it slightly and purée it in the regular blender.|
|Step 4.||Bring up almost to simmering heat again if you had to let the soup cool. Remove from heat, add any reserved florets, and whisk the shredded cheese and sour cream into the soup mixture. It is very important the soup is not boiling hot, or the cheese will go stringy and the sour cream will curdle. Serve immediately.|
Recipe adapted slightly from my friend Karen Humphrey’s Broccoli Cheddar.