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Monday, March 5, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Perfect for one of these cold rainy winter nights - for March SRC
Source: All Day I Dream About Food blog, originally from Cook’s Illustrated

Taste 5 (out of 5)

Difficulty 2 (out of 5 – the most difficult part is using an immersion blender)

• 1 tbsp unsalted butter (100 cal)
• 1 lb broccoli (150 cal)
• 5 green onions (10 cal)
• 2 garlic cloves, minced (5 cal)
• 1 tsp dry mustard powder
• pinch of cayenne
• ½ tsp salt
• 2 cups water
• 1/8 tsp baking soda
• 1 cup chicken or beef broth (20 cal)
• 1 cup frozen spinach (40 cal)
• 1 ½ oz sharp cheddar, grated (170 cal)
• ½ oz parmesan, grated + more to sprinkle before serving (60 cal)
• ¼ tsp pepper (or adjust to taste)
Total 4 servings, 555 calories, 140 cal / serving

1. Chop the broccoli into 1 inch pieces, use both the florets and the stems. Finely chop the green onions.
2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat butter over medium high heat. Add broccoli, onion, garlic, mustard, cayenne and salt. Stir frequently and cook until fragrant, about 6 minutes.
3. Add water and baking soda and bring to a simmer. Cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes.
4. Add broth and spinach and bring to a simmer.
5. Add cheeses and blend soup with an immersion blender (alternatively, you can transfer soup to a blender and blend in two batches).
6. Adjust consistency of soup to your liking with remaining water (I found it didn't need any more).
7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

• This is a great soup, we really liked it! Rich consistency, yet not too greasy; all the ingredients can be distinctly felt, yet they blend together very nicely; filling, yet not heavy.
• I made small adjustments to the original recipe; primarily I used a little more spinach and used green onions instead of regular ones. I don’t think these changes made a big difference.
• I was very puzzled by the addition of baking soda. Carolyn mentioned that it was meant to speed up the cooking of broccoli. I did a little more research on baking soda in cooking, and it seems that people add it to greens to preserve the colors, and add it to creamy soups to prevent milk from curdling. Interesting…
• About All Day I Dream About Food – this is a wonderful food blog. I have been following it for ages now, and it’s getting better and better. Carolyn publishes many gluten free and low-carb dessert recipes. She also has a lot of delicious savory posts. I first wanted to make her chilled avocado soup , but it’s a little chilly for that, so I made a warmer soup and her chicken Adobo, which also turned out super yummy!
• About SRC – it stands from a Secret Recipe Club, each month you are assigned a food blog, you choose a recipe from it, post it on a predetermined reveal date and add your link to a blog hop, where all the participant post their results. This is a very neat idea of Amanda Formaro.


Lesa @Edesias Notebook said...

What gorgeous color! I love broccoli and I love spinach, but I have never thought to combine them in a soup. Great idea.

Gintare @Gourmantine said...

That's a nice looking soup, so many different flavors! I'm also puzzled with the addition of soda, never seen it being added to soups before... interesting indeed! :)

Isabelle @ Crumb said...

Love how lovely and green this soup turned out! This is the first time I've seen baking soda added to a soup, but I'd never dream of arguing with the geniuses over at Cook's Illustrated. :) I'd suspect it probably does help to retain the brightness of the spinach and broccoli.
I've had a craving for broccoli soup for a while now, and this definitely doesn't help. Might have to give this recipe a try real soon!

Sara said...

This looks delicious - and perfect for St. Patrick's Day! :)

Shumaila said...

Interesting recipe. Would love to try it out. Great pick for the SRC!

Lisa said...

Sounds deliciously healthy.

Lisa said...

It was great exploring your blog and making that terrific cheesecake the past month. I'm so glad you didn't put two and two together! lol I was thinking of making greek yogurt cheese..using 500 gram of it, instead of using just yogurt out of the carton. Yogurt cheese would give it more of that 'cream cheese' texture, I think :) Regardless. it was delish and a keeper! Thank you!

Monica @ TheYummyLife said...

Beautiful! This could be a green meal for St. Patty's Day. :-)

Carole said...

Looks yummy and healthy, thank you. Nice post. You might like to look at how I do cheese snacks.

Amber | Bluebonnets and Brownies said...

I love how the addition of spinach made your soup super green - perfect for St. Paddy's Day. It looks delicious.

Lisa Ho said...

Perfect to welcome Autumn :D

Hannah said...

That sounds so comforting and delicious, plus the color would make it a perfect dish to serve on St. Patrick's Day, too!

Feast on the Cheap said...

I had no idea about baking soda preserving colors, but judging by the bright green of that soup I'd say it works!

Lisa~~ said...

Very interesting about the baking soda. Your soup looks and sounds wonderful.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC entry: Broiled Sushi.

Cook Lisa Cook

Stephanie said...

What a lovely choice! I've given up on broccoli cheese soup, but it looks like this one neither destroys the broccoli or neglects a true cheese flavor. Might have to give it a try once we have a blender again...

goodlookincook said...

This has been one of my favorite soups ever since I was young. Healthy and delicious.