Apparently broccoli-cheese soup is one of those things that everyone except me has tried, or at the very least heard of. Up until this week, I’ve been living in a broccoli-cheese soup-free bubble, utterly ignorant of the pleasures that awaited me. I was fully aware of the wonderful marriage that is possible between broccoli and cheese—the two are one of my all-time favourite toppings for baked potato—but I’d never thought of putting them in soup form.
A chance glance at a café menu sign changed that. Soupe du Jour: Brocoli-Fromage. A lightbulb went off inside my head, and as soon as the weather turned chilly again, I knew I had to try my hand at the combination.
All the recipes I looked at used nutmeg as the main seasoning, with the possible addition of bay leaves. I decided to take my soup in a different direction, inspired by a Welsh cheddar called Red Dragon (a.k.a. Y Fenni). I like my cheddar sharp, and this one’s made sharper by the addition of whole mustard seeds and ale. I didn’t have any ale on hand for this soup, but someday I will try substituting it for the vegetable stock…
Green Dragon Soup
- 3 T butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T flour (I used sprouted whole wheat, but all purpose would do)
- 1 C vegetable stock
- 2 C milk
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 1 lb broccoli, cut into florets (save the stalks for something else)
- 1 carrot, grated
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper
Melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic until they start to turn translucent. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, then the milk and mustard. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring constantly so as not to curdle the milk. Add the broccoli and carrot and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
Blend the soup, either with an immersion blender or a regular blender, and return it to very low heat. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Season to taste and serve with some crusty bread.