Sunday 26 February 2012

Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Cheese

Broccoli Cheese soup has always been one of my absolute favorite cold weather treats, and while I have many versions over the years, I had to yet one that would serve as my "go to" recipe. Until now.

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons all purpose flour 
2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp low fat cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream. Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup. Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Place ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional Information
Calories 369, Fat 27.1g, Cholesterol 82.7mg, Sodium 967.4mg, Carbohydrates 16.3g, Protein 18.6g

*This recipe is adapted from one which appeared in Bon Appetit magazine in February 2001