I wasn’t in the mood for the dinner I had planned for Tuesday night, so once again I decided to switch things up. The thought of wrestling with a Kabocha squash with achy hands was pretty unappealing, and besides, I had the better part of a bunch of broccoli in the crisper drawer that was starting to look less than perky. What I really wanted was soup, and this easy, cheesy version was a big hit.
I started by sautéing about a cup of chopped onion in a little olive oil, then adding a couple of smashed garlic cloves and cooking them just until they were fragrant. Next I added my broccoli – the florets as well as the peeled and chopped stems. I poured in about 8-10 cups of my homemade chicken stock, added a pinch of salt, a few shakes of Tabasco, and two heaping tablespoons of Colman’s mustard powder, then covered the pot and let it simmer about 30 minutes, until the broccoli was very tender. I turned off the heat and pureed the soup with my stick blender, then stirred in about 1/2 cup of crème fraiche and my cheese – about 2/3 cup of grated Grafton 2-year aged cheddar, and 1/3 cup of Grafton 4-year.
I ladled the soup into bowls and served it with some of the winter mesclun blend that Mike has been picking up at the Greenmarket, but what I really wish we had had was some crusty bread – the tiny slices of leftover baguette we had weren’t quite enough to mop up the last bits of soup from our bowls, so in the end we just resorted to using our fingers (we’re classy like that). This one’s a definite keeper.