Broccoli cheddar is a cozy, familiar soup, so familiar that it’s worth playing around with the tradition. Our updates are simple but definitely worthwhile. Using Parmesan adds complexity, while lemon lightens the whole eating experience and brightens up winter evenings. If you’d like to make this ahead of time and freeze it, it’s best to stop before you add the Parmesan, as cheese (and other forms of dairy) tends to change texture when frozen. Reheat the soup and finish it off with the Parmesan, lemon, and seasonings.
MAKES 4 to 6 SERVINGS
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 pounds broccoli florets (from about 4 medium heads)
4 to 6 cups vegetable broth
3 to 4 ounces (1⁄2 cup) shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1⁄2 medium lemon, freshly zested and juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
2 Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, translucent, and pale gold, 5 to 7 minutes.
3 Stir in the thyme and broccoli; cook until the broccoli begins to soften, about 10 minutes.
4 Add enough broth to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil.
5 Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the broccoli is completely tender, 10 to 20 minutes.
6 Let the soup cool slightly with the lid off.
7 Carefully puree using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender, or pass through a food mill until completely smooth.
8 Stir in the Parmesan and lemon zest and juice.
9 Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with more Parmesan.
NOTE: For a chunkier texture, puree only half the soup.
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Cooking from Scratch by PCC Community Markets