Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Chowder

We've had a blessedly lengthy fall before winter's chill descended upon us.  But now as the cold creeps in under our doors, so do cravings for thick and creamy soups.  This broccoli cheese chowder, as the recipe is written, reads more like a cream of broccoli soup.  The chowder was much improved by using fresh broccoli and by not blending the result into a homogenous mess.  It's a chowder should be able to see the veggies among the creamy cheddar laced base.

Adapted from Taste of the South recipe fall '07

serves 4 to 6

The Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
4-1/2 cups chicken stock
2-3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 stalks of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper

The Process:
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat combine butter, onion, and garlic. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion is soft.  Add the chicken broth and potatoes; simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.  Add broccoli florets and return to a simmer; cook for 6 to 7 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.
In a blender or food processor, puree approximately half of the soup in batches until mostly smooth. Return the puree to the remaining soup, return to a simmer over medium-heat.
Stir in heavy cream, cheese, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat until soup is barely bubbling and the cheese has completely melted.
Garnish with additional shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired. 
The Review:
Fresh broccoli and visible bits of potato are a vast improvement to the original.  The cream and cheese was just enough to thicken and enrich the chowder without making it too heavy.  Of course it wouldn't be chowder without the cream.  I am curious to try it again with another variety of cheese.  Or two...

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