Two Cheese-Broccoli Soup

Staffordshire CALICO blue plate and bowl
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Sometimes I know a couple of weeks ahead what’s coming up on the blog. Occasionally I even cook, write a recipe, take photos, and keep a post for the next season. For the last year, however, I have mostly begun working on the next week’s food within a day or two of the last post, photographing, writing, editing, and rewriting right up until my usual, but occasionally fluctuating deadline. In this case, the “Frozen Bailey’s Mochaccino” (Did you make it?!) wasn’t dry on the page before I was making this soup. I was interested in and then thoroughly inspired by a post of Nigella Lawson’s, “Broccoli and Stilton Soup” on twitter. (I’ve just looked back at it and see she’s even encouraged readers to use whatever cheeses they have on hand — just as I do here! Great minds think alike 馃槈 ) There was literally and figuratively a bunch of broccoli in the fridge and broccoli cheese soup of some sort, if not totally blue-cheesy, was sounding good for Meatless Monday. Well, the soup was grand if I do say so myself. I even had the recipe written and some decent photos in the can. I did, however, forget to note a couple of key elements like the weight of the broccoli, for instance. Hello, honey!! No choice: I re-ordered the ingredients, made the soup a second time (now as a first course before mushroom pork chops on date night), followed my own recipe weighing everything, and got it all straight for you.

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Last Gasp Broccoli Soup

I hope your Thanksgiving was all you needed it to be. 聽Dave and I, having moved back into our Colorado Springs house just last month, were blessed to eat dinner at friends’. 聽Sean smoked a turkey; I made rolls and pies, as well as a pot of curried Butternut Squash Soup. Jami and Dave made a 4-quart Cauliflower Grantinee. 聽We ferried it all over to the north side of town, where a gorgeous table and a big group of friends waited. 聽All we had to do was sit down and enjoy it all. 聽Thanks, God. 聽I did bring home some leftovers…and hence this soup. 聽Enjoy this first week of Advent or the rest of Hanukkah…and make some broccoli soup.

38 Power Foods, Week 6 — Broccoli — Broccoli Soup with Toasted Brie


When my kids were growing up, they all loved broccoli.聽 Pretty unusual.聽聽 One of them adored spinach and one of them always wanted pickles, but all of them would eat broccoli.聽聽 So broccoli it was.聽 A lot. To this day, when our youngest, Emily, is home from grad school, she asks for Chicken-Broccoli Casserole (a quick Chicken Divan known as “Government Girl Casserole” around the D.C area) and I don’t have to look for a recipe.

You get the picture:聽 I seldom make broccoli anymore.聽 Being a healthy (see below for nutrition information) and relatively inexpensive cruciferous ( a family of plants which have four petals arranged like the arms of a cross, as the mustard, radish, turnip, etc.) vegetable, I know I’d like to buy it more, but some days I just can’t.聽 I have fallen in love with broccolini (a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli) and often saut茅 it with large shards of Parmesan until the cheese is a golden, crispy chip-like accompaniment.聽 The Parm-crusted broccolini is then laid gently atop greens and tiny tomatoes with a bit of lemon, black pepper, and olive oil for a filling main-course salad.

Working on the soup cookbook for the past two months (I got an ISBN number yesterday..AHHH!!) has been one of the most positive, annoying, interesting, and P-Offing of all my cooking experiences.聽 Somehow, the first soup I worked on (can’t remember why) was broccoli. 聽 Too funny. 聽 Maybe I had a plethora in the vegetable bin for some terribly odd reason; I don’t know.聽 Maybe it was on sale.聽 Whatever; that soup is out to a couple of testers now, but I’ll share it here with you.聽 I’ve made it聽 several times shall we say. 聽聽 If you make it, I’d enjoy knowing how your soup turned out.聽聽 Read this carefully as we’re in the middle of a wretchedly hot summer in the U.S. (unless you’re an Australian or Scot reader):

This soup is luscious hot or cold.聽 The cold version is served differently:聽 instead of the brie toasting on top, you put a spoonful of peppered (or you could use lemon peel) yogurt down in the middle of the soup as a surprise to your table mates.聽 Being sure ahead of time, naturally, everyone eats dairy.To serve cold, make it early in the morning before the heat of the day claims your kitchen.聽 Let cool and refrigerate covered until dinnertime.聽聽

Shopping note:聽 Fine French brie is an expensive, highly caloric treat.聽 While I’m crazy about it,聽 I wouldn’t necessarily use it in this soup, though of course you can if you like. (I like my French brie as is.)聽 Domestic brie, often made in the great state of Wisconsin, is sold for a great deal less and is fine here.聽 The Whole Foods in St. Paul, for example, sells a good-sized wedge for $2.99–a sale price, but it’s often on sale.I haven’t checked the Colorado Springs Whole Foods for its availability.聽 Anyway….

Try the little preview from my soup book and have fun!



This soup is warm and filling without being heavy.聽 Made with pur茅edbroccoli and other vegetables, it appears to be a cream soup, but contains no cream. Topped with a slice of brie and slipped under the broiler for a few minutes until toasty, it鈥檚 a perfect lunch for guests arriving midday.聽 Ladled into tiny bowls or cups, hot or cold, it鈥檚 a first course for a birthday dinner with the surprise of a tiny spoonful of peppered Greek yogurt hidden in the middle. 聽While it may take a few minutes past the 30-minute mark, it鈥檚 worth it!

Still working on getting a good picture!

Broccoli Soup with Toasted Brie聽 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽4-6 servings

  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 2 quarts low-salt chicken stock**, heated in microwave or on stove
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Crushed red pepper, fresh ground black pepper, and kosher salt
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 2 garlic cloves (one left whole to flavor oil and one chopped for the soup)
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 1 medium onion, peeled, trimmed, and cut into eighths
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 3 stalks celery, trimmed, and cut into 2鈥 pieces
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 2 carrots,聽 trimmed, and cut into 1鈥 pieces
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 陆 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 1陆 teaspoon herbes de Provence (or a mix of dried basil, thyme and rosemary)
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 5 cups fresh broccoli, trimmed well, and chopped finely*
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Hot sauce, 4-6 drops, or to taste
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 6 1-oz slices of Brie
1.聽聽聽聽 Heat the chicken stock in the microwave or on the stove. (I like an 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup for the microwave.)
2.聽聽聽聽 Place the chopped garlic clove, onion, celery, and carrots into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until chopped coarsely. (Or chop by hand.)聽
3.聽聽聽聽 In an 8-qt stock pot over medium heat, saut茅 a pinch each of the pepper and salt along with the other whole garlic clove for one minute.聽 Add the chopped vegetables, stir, and cook covered about five minutes until beginning to soften.
4.聽聽聽聽 Meantime, preheat the oven broiler.
5.聽聽聽聽 Add the broccoli, hot stock, hot sauce, 陆 t each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and lemon zest and juice to the stockpot. Bring to a boil.聽 Reduce heat a bit, cover, and cook until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir once or twice.聽 Using an immersion blender (or process in batches in food processor), puree the soup.聽 Taste and adjust seasonings.
6.聽聽聽聽 Ladle soup into broiler-safe bowls and top each with a piece of Brie cheese.聽 Place bowls on baking sheet about 4 inches under broiler and broil 3-5 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. (You could also bake this soup at 350 degrees F for several minutes if you do not have broiler-safe bowls.聽 Alternately, simply place the cheese in the bottom of the bowl, ladle soup on top, and let sit a couple of minutes to melt cheese.)聽 聽 聽
聽 7. 聽 Serve hot or let cool, chill covered in refrigerator, and serve cold with a surprise small spoonful of peppered plain Greek yogurt hidden in the middle of each bowl.
*You could also use leftover cooked broccoli here to hasten cooking.
**Use vegetable stock for vegetarian option
Accompaniments:聽聽 Midsummer, a small plate of ripe tomatoes and peppered cottage cheese with crackers for lunch.聽聽 Add a salad and grilled salt and pepper baguette for supper anytime of the year.
Wine:聽 I like a California Chardonnay with this soup, but a French Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy nose would also work.
Dessert:聽 Blueberries and a spoonful of lemon ice cream or sorbet.

a few facts about raw broccoli

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a standard 100 g serving of raw broccoli has 34 calories with .37 g fat, 1.70 g sugars, 6.64 g carbohydrates, 2.6 g dietary fiber and 2.82 g protein. Broccoli also contributes greatly to your daily vitamin and mineral requirements. For example, raw broccoli delivers 89.2 g of vitamin C, which equates to 149 percent of your daily allowance. In its raw state, broccoli provides 9 percent of your daily requirement of potassium and 12 percent vitamin A.


Every Friday for the foreseeable future, I’ll be blogging one of the 38 healthiest ingredients from POWER FOODS : 150 DELICIOUS RECIPES WITH THE 38 HEALTHIEST INGREDIENTS by the editors of Whole Living Magazine.

38 Power Foods is a group effort! 聽 Stop by these other blogs and see what they’re cooking each week as we team up to bring you some of the healthiest cooking available.

Jill 鈥 SaucyCooks聽

Sarah –聽Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Anabanana –
As we go along, I’m guessing we’ll get some other writers involved.聽 If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:聽


in memoriam
One of my great cooking heroes, Marion Cunningham, is now cooking in that great perfect kitchen where the Tupperware bowls and lids all match and the whole world comes to the table in peace to ease their hunger….聽 Read my tribute to Marion on the Dinner Place Blog.


Bannocks- a simple, flat, oaty, crispy Scottish cracker-bread..from Marion’s BREAKFAST BOOK

Sing a new song; cook something of Marion’s,