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Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup


Doesn’t it feel good to be back home after two weeks away? The kitchen especially feels calm and cozy, ready for warming soups and stews — the kinds of things you crave when the weather is nippy.

This recipe is super easy, as are the recipes for most creamed soups. It can be endlessly adapted for other vegetables, with or without the cheese.

Ingredients:

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of butter

1/2 tablespoon of olive oil

2 small heads of broccoli, or one large one

1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock, or milk, or water

1/2 cup of heavy cream

4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment:

A hand immersion blender. You can also use a regular blender or a food processor.

How to prepare:

1. Separate the broccoli florets from the stem. Cut the florets so that they are roughly the same size and shape. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the stem to get rid of the tough outer layer. Slice the stem into 1/2 inch rounds.

2. In a medium to large-sized pot, heat the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté them until they start to brown. Add the broccoli florets and stems, tossing to evenly coat them in the butter-shallot mixture. Add the stock. Cover the pot and lower the heat. Simmer until the broccoli is fairly tender.

3. When the broccoli is tender, use an immersion blender to purée the broccoli in the pot. Stir in the heavy cream. Turn the heat back on low and add the cheese, stirring conscientiously to make sure that it all melts and does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the cheese has melted and is evenly incorporated in the soup, turn off the heat and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with bread or crackers.

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