Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
A staple of any fast-casual restaurant, broccoli-cheddar soup has somewhat of a cult following on the internet. Thicker than cream of broccoli, this roux-thickened soup can be puréed completely smooth or left chunky and rustic. Either way, be sure to use the sharpest Cheddar available (white or orange work here). It’ll provide richness in addition to a necessary acidity.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 6tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2pounds broccoli, florets with stems peeled and trimmed to 3 inches
- ¼cup all-purpose flour
- 3cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2cups half and half
- 8ounces very sharp Cheddar, grated, plus more for the top
- ¼teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Step 1Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
Step 2Add broccoli, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is bright green and slightly tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a large cooking spoon, transfer broccoli mixture to a medium bowl and set aside.
Step 3Heat remaining 3 tablespoons butter in the same pot over medium heat (don’t worry about any remaining broccoli bits). Add flour and whisk constantly, cooking until the mixture has turned a pale golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4Gradually whisk in chicken broth until no lumps remain (it’ll thicken considerably at first), followed by half-and-half. Bring to a simmer and stir in cheese, nutmeg and all but 1 cup of the reserved broccoli mixture.
Step 5Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid has thickened and reduced by about 1/4 and the broccoli is completely tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 6Using a hand blender, purée the soup to desired consistency. (Some like to leave bits of broccoli in there. It is up to you how smooth or chunky the soup is.) Alternatively, transfer to a blender and purée to desired consistency.
Step 7Season soup with salt and pepper, and divide among bowls. Top with remaining 1 cup broccoli, more Cheddar (if you like), and lots of freshly ground pepper.