Thursday, March 17, 2011

Broccoli Soup

I am so far behind this week that it's ridiculous. I have no excuse except that I have not been sleeping well and I don't do well on small amounts of sleep. Our son periodically decides NOT to sleep through the night and this week is one of those periods. We have been up at least twice a night - with an almost 2 and a half year old! I don't know what causes it, but it lasts for a few weeks and then he goes back to sleeping well.

This year in honor of St. Patrick's Day my parents took us out for corned beef -- at a  New York Deli Buffet night (at The Rampart for those who may want to go).  It was awesome. But yesterday I had a craving for broccoli cheese soup. I decided to try out a "remake" of the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. Good thing I looked at the picture in the back of the magazine because this soup is GREEN! It was not at all what I expected but it is delicious. And perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

Broccoli Soup
2 lbs broccoli, cut in to 1" pieces (I used a bag of cut up broccoli)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced or pressed
Pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, melt butter. Add broccoli, onion, garlic, salt, mustard, cayenne, and all spice. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda to pot. Bring water to a simmer, cover and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir pot once during the 20 minutes of cooking. Add 2 more cups water and 2 cups chicken broth. Turn off heat and add cheeses. Using an immersion blender, blend soup leaving as many or as little chunks as you want. Alternatively, blend soup in batches in a blender. Thin with water if needed.

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated March and April 2011 issue.

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