There was a time when I used to hate broccoli. Not anymore. Now I actually crave for it! As fall is slowly giving way to winter and nights are getting chilly, I feel like eating something hearty and comforting for dinner these days. Tonight I made a creamy broccoli soup, without any cream though. I didn’t have any cream or half-n-half at home and since it was raining outside, I decided to skip the grocery store and tried substituting milk instead. Since milk is thinner and I was craving for a thick soup, I also decided to make a roux. I have seen recipes where people add potatoes to the soup to get the same effect. There are many ways to make a cream of broccoli soup and all of them are very easy. You can do many things differently, just keep in mind the kind of soup (i.e. color, thickness, consistency) you ultimately want.
- Broccoli, 3 heads
- Garlic, 2 cloves
- Onion, 1 medium
- Butter, 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
- All purpose flour, 1 tablespoon
- Whole milk, 1.5 – 2 cups
- Cheddar, 1/2 – 1 cup grated (I like to use good quality white cheddar)
- Water or chicken stock or vegetable stock, ~2 cups
- Salt and pepper
1. Roughly chop the broccoli, onion and garlic. You can also use some of the broccoli stems. If they seem tough, just peel the outer skin.
2. In a large enough pot, heat oil and 1 table spoon of butter.
3. Add garlic and onion. Saute for a few minutes and then add broccoli. Add ~ 2 cups of water and cook until the broccoli is done. Approx 5-10 minutes. It should be soft but not mushy.
4. Transfer the broccoli mixture to a blender and puree. You can add a little more water/stock if the mixture is too thick.
5. In the same pan, melt the remaining butter (1 table spoon) and add the flour. Whisk thoroughly to avoid forming lumps, for about 1 min. This is what is called a roux. Then add milk. This sauce thickens very quickly, so keep whisking throughout. Other wise it will stick to the pan and burn. We now have what is called ‘white sauce’ or Béchamel sauce. (You can add a little nutmeg as well if you like.)
6. Mix in the pureed broccoli mixture and cook for a few minutes. If the soup looks too thick, add some more water/stock/milk.
7. Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat. Be careful with the salt since we are going to add cheese as well.
8. Mix in the grated cheddar and serve.
Note: You can add some spinach to make the soup greener.