Saturday, October 27, 2012

Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Three Cheese Soup

If you grew up in the sixties or seventies, your first introduction to broccoli was probably under a blanket of thick cheese sauce.  (The broccoli, not you.).  I actually liked vegetables as a kid, so the cheese sauce was like icing on the vegetable cake, as it were.  Shortly after the cheese sauce craze, cheese and broccoli in soup form emerged.  Back then, this pretty much meant a warm, blended mixture of broccoli, cream, and Velveeta cheese.   For lovers of quick, easy, and processed cheese food, this artery clogger was gourmet fare.  Thank goodness things have changed since then.   Now the goal is lighter, more nutritious fare, with a blend of flavors yielding a more sophisticated taste. 

This delicious soup has all of that in spades - a variety of vegetables, REAL cheese (three of them, in fact), a nice assortment of seasonings, and only a little bit of cream. 

Even non broccoli fans will love this, and it tastes as if you've been cooking all day.

Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Three Cheese Chowder
Adapted from a recipe on

1 large head broccoli
1 large russet potato
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 jar Melissa's roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
l large garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated
1/2 cup Gruyere, coarsely grated
1/2 cup Fontina, coarsely grated

Cut off and discard the tough lower third of broccoli stem.  Peel remaining stem and finely chop.  Cut remaining broccoli into very small (1-inch) florets.  Cook florets in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 3-5 minutes.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking; drain.  Measure out and reserve 3 cups cooking water for soup.

Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Cook potato, onion, bell pepper, broccoli stems, and garlic in butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add cumin, salt, pepper, and mustard and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  Add reserved cooking water and simmer (partially covered), stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in cream and cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.  Purée with an immersion blender until desired consistency.  Garnish with broccoli florets.

This post is linked to:

No comments: