In rejuvenating all the beloved recipes from my old blog, we pulled out another fan favorite from 2011!
Adapted from the March/April 2011 Cook’s Illustrated magazine
2 tablespoons butter
2 lbs. fresh broccoli, chopped into 1-inch pieces
(I measure 8 cups total. If using stalks, simply peeled and chopped into ¼-inch pieces) Fresh bunch broccoli usually comes with stalks. Do not throw those stalks out. You can use a vegetable peeler to peel the tough skin off and cut them into pieces or chunks. They make the broccoli flavor of this soup more concentrated.
1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
3 minced garlic cloves 1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard powder
pinch cayenne pepper(optional)
salt and black pepper to taste
3 cups water, divided(I only need 2 cups total)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chicken stock (homemade is the best!)
2 oz. baby spinach (2 loosely packed cups)
3 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)*
1.5 oz. parmesan cheese, grated fine (about 1/3 cup)
- Do not substitute sharp cheddar cheese with extra sharp cheddar cheese because extra sharp is too dry. Also, if you don’t have Parmesan cheese on hand or you don’t like it for some reason, you can totally omit it. I have done it. It still tasted great!
- Heat the butter in a soup pot, and then add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, salt and cayenne, if using. Cook, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. (i’m currently dreaming about this le crueset number)
- Add 1 cup water and the baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 min, stirring once.
Add the broth and the remaining water and increase heat to medium-high. When it simmers, stir in the spinach and cook about 1 minute. Blend the soup in a standard blender in two parts or a hand-held immersion blender with the cheddar and Parmesan.
Return to the pot and adjust consistency with water if needed. and always taste to see if you need to add more salt!
Yields about 6 cups of soup
Josephine says: When I first encountered this recipe on American’s Test Kitchen on PBS, I was thrilled and skeptical. This particular broccoli cheese soup sounded like it had tons of veggies, but I wondered if it would meet the expectation of that savory taste we all want. So I followed the recipe and made it. I felt like I could finally have broccoli cheese soup without feeling guilty and eat as much as i wanted. Yes, it is that good! It has tons of fresh veggies, but it is so rich and savory without loads of fat and sodium. It is so good for you, so give it a try.
Jami says: it’s true. even i liked it and i’m very picky.and for the grilled cheeses for a crowd, josephine says: this is straight from Cook’s Illustrated i didn’t need to change a thing. it really works like they say it will and i am precise with the recipe. they know what they’re doing!