Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Roasted Broccoli Cheese Soup

Winter is fast approaching, and soup is on the brain. Some might suggest that there are those of us that have soup for brains, but that's an entirely different conversation.

Actually....maybe that's what zombies are really after....

Anyway, here's a soup I made last weekend. It's warm, creamy, and delicious. Enjoy!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 head garlic, cut in half
2 lb head of fresh broccoli
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, plus additional to taste
3 tbs butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 tbs fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
2 tbs flour
2 c vegetable stock
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 c whole milk
1 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Brush cut surfaces of garlic lightly with oil. Cut broccoli stems into 1/2-inch slices; cut florets into slightly larger pieces. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with remaining oil. Spread broccoli and garlic in a single layer on a large baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring about ten minutes through.

When the broccoli is halfway through roasting, melt butter over medium heat in a medium stock pot. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add thyme and sauté an additional minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to create a paste. Whisk in half the stock and bring to a simmer.

When broccoli is tender and lightly browned, remove from oven and place about 1 cup of the florets into the stock pot. Place remaining broccoli into a food processor. Squeeze the garlic from peels into the food processor with the broccoli and purée with the remaining stock. Pour puréed broccoli into the pot. Stir in the cayenne and milk and slowly bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Allow to simmer for five minutes.

Stir in the cheese until completely incorporated and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Makes 4 servings. If desired, garnish with paprika and/or croutons.

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