Use it or lose it

Dinner:  January 29, 2008

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.

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7 thoughts on “Use it or lose it

  1. Yum!

    Grafton cheddar truly rocks, I love it in most thick soups. Too bad they’re out of the 4-year one till April, guess I need to hold out till then!

  2. Broccoli-cheddar soup is my favorite way to use up broccoli stalks, which I don’t normally love and always end up with huge bags of in the freezer. And I totally agree that good bread is a must; my favorite is a nice crusty-but-doughy sourdough boule.

    Can you tell I really like your blog? I’m a commenting fool!

    Us vs. Food

  3. I LOVE broccoli-cheese soup, and I can’t explain why I never make it at home. Maybe I’ll finally be inspired to make some this week – it’s just the kind of cold, insistently wet week for hot cheesy soup. And crusty bread, definitely.

  4. Jennifer Hess says:

    Kaykat – I love any kind of cheddar, but I love how the young Grafton melts, and the 4 year stuff had a really nice sharp flavor. So good!

    michelle – Thank you!

    Jessamyn – This took no time at all and was so good on a cold and rainy night. But don’t skip the crusty bread!

  5. Trish says:

    I have been a “lurker” for a long time but this time I just had to comment. This looks so lovely for a cold winter night like we’ve been having in Omaha these past few years (at seems like it =)). I have book marked and will try…

    trish

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