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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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:

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

38 comments:

the ungourmet said...

This is one of my favorite soups! Thanks for the great recipe!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I was just thinking tonight about making a broccoli soup - what a great idea to use cheddar. Sounds wonderful!

Trish said...

Now that looks like a soup I would serve again and again....loving it!

Maria Berg said...

What is arugula?
/MB that did make a soup with broccoli last Saturday.

KathyB. said...

I love cheese and broccoli. This soup will go perfect with the bread in the previous post.And I will be using real, thick, cream!

Selba said...

What a perfect combinantion of broccoli and cheddar.. lovely :)

The Desperate Cook said...

Broccoli soup is one of our favorites and I am going to try this recipe....You made it look so good that I have no choice.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I'm immediately interested in anything associated with cheese. It's my downfall.

Martha said...

Love Tillamook cheese and this is one of my favorite soups -- one of the first "gourmet" soups I ever made!

Hootin' Anni said...

I LOVE cream of broccoli soup [thanks for having broccoli in your blog title...that is the hardest word to spell!!! LOL].

I've never added W. sauce tho. Hmmmmm.

I make mine with broccoli [there's that word again!] and mashed potatoes, chicken broth, and sour cream, with seasoning of course and cheese...so creamy. ::hunger pains::]

Dana said...

Thank you for that great recipe! For cold autumn evenings, it's perfect! I will try.

Carol said...

I love broccoli and cheddar soup. Your recipe sounds perfect. Thanks.

Carol

Megan said...

I love Cream of broccoli soup and if you ad chedder, thats just a plus. Love Tillamook cheese.

A Year on the Grill said...

This sounds great, and I am sure very thick and tasty...

2 cups heavy cream AND a pound of cheese...

I am going to make this, as I love every ingredient, but will let it thicken up, and use as a cream sauce over broccoli instead of a soup.

It just sounds too good to thin it down

Cathy said...

Broccoli and cheddar soup is at the top of my favorite soups list. This looks like a wonderful recipe, Mary. I like your addition of sherry. I agree with you, Tillamook cheese is the best.

Haden News said...

We love Tillamook cheese!! My husband loves cheese, not as crazy about broccoli, but I bet he will love this soup!

Mary said...

Maria, in parts of Europe arugula is called rocket. It is a slightly bitter green very much like watercress.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your cheese sounds interesting. I've never met a cheese I didn't like. It's been rainy here and your soup is perfect for our weather.
Sam

Allie said...

Sounds good and you have me wishing for a cold front. I made your carrot soup and LOVE it so can't wait to try this one!!

The Chef In My Head said...

Yum! I still can't get over your beautiful photos. I'm trying to get better, hubby bought me a new camera. I have been looking for a replacment to my broccoli soup, can't wait to try this one.

Pam said...

What I would give to have this bowl of soup for lunch. It looks wonderful Mary.

Bridgett said...

I remember touring the Tillamook factory when I was young. Too bad I didn't quite have the same appreciation as I do now for cheese! This looks so comforting.

Claudia said...

I love the additions of watercress in this. I always like every version of broccoli and cheese I can get my hands on. Will definitely have this grace my table.

Penny said...

This does sound like a wonderful soup and I love your buster biscuits!

George Gaston said...

Brilliant … this is an amazing recipe! I love the way you have kept it light, so often this type soup is thick & heavy. I’m absolutely going to try it. Thanks…

Chaka said...

I hate to sound like a broken record on all my comments, but that looks so good. I will have to try the recipe.

Sasha said...

Yum!
Broccoli and cheese soup is amazing. It's just one of those things everybody loves : )

Karen said...

I bet the sherry adds just the right touch to this soup!

Baking Monster said...

This looks terrific mary!

Juliana said...

Yummie, I never had this combination of ingredients in a soup, have to try it since it looks so tasty :-)

girlichef said...

I'm afraid of cheese soup...so hard for me to keep it from breaking. But that said, this looks & sounds delicious...I may just have to step up and try it again :D

Katy ~ said...

Truly gorgeous and sounds so elegant. What a presentation you have made!

darnold23 said...

As always, beautiful and delicious. I keep waiting for my dinner reservation to show up in the mail?????

Debbie said...

The soup looks delicious. Broccoli soup is one of my favorites. I think I would use half & half with this too. I made the Julia recipe that you posted last week. I recently purchased the book and wanted to try one of the recipes and the beef one sounded great. OMG....the steps involved and the hours involved. Wow. It was delicious but a lot of work. I think I went through one dutch oven, 2 frying pans, 1 smaller pot, cutting board, etc......My husband loved the dish. I liked it but I don't think I would make it again anytime soon because of all the steps involved!!!

My Little Space said...

Brocolli & cheddar...sound nutritious & healthy to me! I love brocolli. Have you decided the right soup to serve for this coming Halloween dinner?

GeoKaren said...

I have to take issue with your characterization of eastern cheddar. In particular I love Cabot cheddars/ The have a "seriously sharp" cheddar that has amazing depth of flavor and is not in the least, dry or crumbly. In fact I made an awesome mac & cheese with it and it shreds and melts perfectly. Give it a try.

Debinhawaii said...

Cheddar broccoli soup is one of those delicious classics. Yum!

free online adventure games said...

I think I'd go the full-force with the heavy cream. I think your recipe just gave me a great idea on how to help those around me love broccoli. Thanks!

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