The Food Blogger’s Challenge is changing things up a bit and instead of having a weekly food to incorporate into a recipe we now have a monthly theme food. October’s theme is Soups/Stews and each blogger can post up to four recipes (one per week.) To start off the change I’m posting one of my favorite all time Fall/Winter soups. It’s a soup I make as frequently as I can because the hubby and I both love it. I do not make it the traditional way but after many years of experimentation I have found that this method produces a soup that is rich, thick, and creamy. It also tastes true to the vegetables rather than a base stock.
The photos are not great I’m sorry to write, as it was rather late when we finally sat down to dinner and the lighting was awful. Do not let them detract from what is a truly delicious soup.
Cream of Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup with Cheddar Cheese
1 bunch broccoli
1/2 head to one head cauliflower
salt and pepper
1 TBS butter, softened
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or milk
3/4 cup sherry (optional)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese with some reserved to sprinkle on top
Before I begin I will note that this is a somewhat fluid recipe. It can be easily altered in volume and the amounts are then just adjusted to taste. In fact I really don’t measure anything when I make it – I just taste, taste, taste as I’m going along and add as necessary.
Break the broccoli and the cauliflower down into florets and put them in a large stock pot. Cover with water, add a generous amount of salt and set over med-high heat and let it boil. Check it periodically and if the water level starts to get too low just add more water.
The goal is to boil the vegetables to mush. Seriously, because you are going to mash them with a potato masher. This is the soup. When the broccoli and cauliflower reach mush stage mash them up good. Make sure there is enough water to cover the mashed vegetables.
Lower the heat to med- low and add the heavy cream or if you prefer a less fattening, lighter soup add milk or a mixture of both. Add the sherry if you are using and let the soup cook for another minute or so. If you like your soup with substance you can leave it with the pieces just mashed like this. If you prefer a smoother soup use an immersion blender or run it through a blender and return it to the pot. Add the cheddar cheese and stir well until it melts. Be sure to leave some cheese aside to sprinkle on top.
To thicken the soup: add the flour to the softened butter and knead until it is incorporated. It will all work together. Take a whisk and a little at a time whisk the butter mixture into the hot soup until it is all added. The soup will thicken as you add the butter/flour mixture. Let the soup cook for at least another minute to cook off the flour taste. At this point the soup should be nice and thick and ready to serve. Taste it and adjust with salt and add some freshly ground pepper.
Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on top and serve! Since the soup is mostly vegetable I just add rolls or a bagel and that’s dinner! It’s creamy, delicious and filling. Perfect for Fall and Winter nights when it’s chilly.
It’s even better the next day and it freezes beautifully. This can also be made with just broccoli or just cauliflower but I like the flavor of the soup when I have both – I just don’t always have both.
Be sure to check out what the other Food Bloggers have to offer in the way of Soups and Stews: