Thursday, November 12, 2015

Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Soup

All the heads of broccoli have been harvested so it's time to make a copious amount of Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Thickened with a cheese sauce lightly flavoured with garlic and cayenne, this soup has both a delicious taste and velvety texture. 

Garnished with deep-fried young broccoli leaves and cheddar shavings


The headless plants however will keep putting out delectable side shoots until the first killing frost.

The numerous shoots add up to lots of broccoli for fried rice, pasta & fritters

Ingredients
makes 6 ample servings

  • Broccoli, 4-5 heads, trimmed of any woody stems 
  • Garlic cloves, slightly smashed, 3
  • Potatoes, all-purpose, medium, 2
  • Water to cover the veggies, around 710 ml/24 fluid oz
  • Cheddar, grated 473 ml/16 fluid oz
  • Cayenne pepper flakes or tiny whole dry peppers to taste (I use a v small amount)
  • Flour, white, 5 T
  • Butter, sweet, 4 T
  • Milk, 473 ml/16 fluid oz
  • Additional milk for desired consistency
  • Olive oil for coating broccoli
  • Broccoli leaves, a small handful
  • Cheddar slivers for garnishing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 177 degrees C/350 degrees F. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment. Rinse and coarsely chop the broccoli. Spread on pan in single layer and toss with enough olive oil to coat well. Roast for about twenty minutes until lightly browned.


Place the roasted broccoli in a pot along with the peeled and coarsely chopped potatoes. Cover with water and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until all the veggies are very tender.


Meanwhile make the cheddar sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan and over low heat stir in the flour till smooth which takes about a minute or so. Pour in the milk slowly, all the while stirring. Whisk out any lumps. Add the garlic cloves and red pepper flakes or tiny small peppers. Simmer until thickened which takes about five minute. Remove the cloves and whole peppers if using. Toss in the cheese and stir until melted. Reserve.


Using a stick blender, puree the broccoli until the texture is more silky than not. Add a ladle of the blended broccoli into the cheese sauce and stir. Add another and stir. Then stir the cheesy broccoli sauce into the rest of the broccoli. If necessary, add more milk to get the consistency desired. Season to taste and keep warm. Put enough veggie oil (not olive) in a small saucepan for the broccoli leaves to float and heat until sizzling. Throw in some of the broccoli leaves. After a couple of minutes, remove and repeat until you have deep fried all the leaves. Garnish the soup with cheddar slivers and leaves.

The deep-fried  broccoli leaves add crunch and umami

Both in and outside the potager, foliage colour is much more vivid than in past seasons.

Golden feathery asparagus stems with red berries & burgundy abelia leaves

The veggie beds are still being weeded and mulched with leaves. Five of the eleven annual ones are done. Hopefully the dry and windless weather registering around 18°C/65°F will continue for a week or so. Any head start for late winter planting which occurs in just several months will make that rather frantic time less demanding.

Slowly decomposing oak leaves give off the most wonderful woodsy scent

One of Dirac the Young Cat's favorite kitchen spots is an overturned, large crock placed in front of a window overlooking the potager.


À la prochaine!