Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Creamy Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This wonderful soup comes from the dairy farmers of Tillamook County, Oregon. These folks have been producing singular cheeses for over a century. The cheddar that is made here differs from that that is made in New York and Vermont. I've had cheddar on both coasts and what is made here ages smoothly and is soft compared to the dry and crumbly version produced in the East. This is a simple soup and very easy to make. If you're not quite ready for the hearty soups and stews of winter, this is a perfect soup to span the seasons. Over the years, I've replaced the heavy cream in this recipe with half-and half. It could also be made with whole milk, but it becomes thinner with the fat reduction. I hasten to add, that when made with heavy cream the soup becomes ambrosia - the fortunate inhabitants of Mt. Olympus aren't terribly concerned with cholesterol and clogged arteries, but mere mortals might want to give serious consideration to lower fat alternatives. There are no tricks to making this. If you are unable to get watercress, skip it and use a bit more broccoli. Everything else is available at your neighborhood grocery store. If you have any talent with a knife, the soup can be on the table in about 40 minutes. It is perfect for days that are chilly but not yet cold. This recipe is a nice one to have in your quiver. Here's how we do it.
Creamy Broccoli and Cheddar Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 large or 2 small heads of broccoli
1 bunch watercress, stems removed
5 cups reduced-fat chicken broth
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk.
2 cups heavy cream, half-and-half or whole milk
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated + additional cheese for garnish
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1) Peel stems of broccoli and coarsely chop. Break florets into 1-inch pieces. Place broccoli and watercress, if using, in a soup pot with 3 cups of chicken broth.
Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
2) While broccoli simmers, melt butter over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Watch carefully to avoid browning. Gradually add milk and cream; bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3) Add cream sauce to broccoli. Add reserved 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add cheese and stir occasionally until cheese melts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and sherry. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
This post is being linked to:
Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday