I cleaned out my freezer today and found some broccoli florets lurking in the back. I love broccoli, but only when I steam it from fresh. When it’s already frozen it can be sort of mushy. It’s perfect for soup!
Here’s a delicious recipe I came up with today. The bacon gives the soup a smokey flavor that accentuates the broccoli and sharp cheddar perfectly. Add in potatoes and canned white beans and you give the soup a little more bulk. Serve this with a crusty white bread and you’ve got yourself a delicious wintertime supper!
Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Bacon, Potatoes and White Beans
Serves 6, probably
1.5 pounds broccoli
2 strips of bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, smashed and choppped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
12 oz. potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
1 oz. pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 cup cream
If using fresh broccoli, steam it until tender. If using frozen broccoli, thaw it under hot water. Roughly chop and set broccoli aside.
Add bacon to a dutch oven and heat over medium till bacon is cooked through but not crispy. Add onions and cook till translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the butter until melted and mix in the flour till a paste forms. Cook this for about 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and scrape up any browned bits. This will thicken very quickly. Slowly stir in the chicken stock. Add pepper, thyme and broccoli and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s a consistency you like. This is up to you. I like a chunky soup so I didn’t blend it very long, but if you prefer a smoother soup, go to town with your immersion blender.
Return pot to low flame and add in the potatoes and beans. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses till melted. Stir in the cream. Add salt if desired. Serve immediately.