By: Dairy Farmers of Canada
(POSTED: November 2, 2011)

Classic Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli has been an all-time favourite vegetable in Milk Calendar recipes over the past 35 years. This easy, irresistible soup that was first featured in 2000 makes broccoli shine again especially when topped with Canadian Cheddar or Gruyère cheese.

Yield: 4 to 6 serving


1 bunch broccoli (1-1/2 lbs/750 g)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
Pinch hot pepper flakes
2 cups (500 mL) milk (approx.)
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt (approx.)
1 cup (250 mL) shredded Canadian Cheddar or Gruyère cheese


Peel and chop broccoli stems and coarsely chop florets, keeping stems and florets separate (you should have about 6 cups/1.5 L total).

In a pot, combine broccoli stems, onion, potatoes, garlic, broth, orange rind, thyme, pepper and hot pepper flakes; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 min. Add florets; simmer, covered, for 5 min or until vegetables are softened.

Transfer to a blender or food processor, in batches, or use an immersion blender in the pot and purée soup, adding milk, until smooth. Return to pot, if necessary. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until steaming, but do not let boil. Stir in more milk if soup is too thick. Season with up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with cheese.

Recipe Tips:

- Reduce broccoli to 4 cups (1 L) and add 2 cups (500 mL) chopped trimmed rapini with the florets. Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh sage instead of the dried thyme.

- To dress this soup up for entertaining, sprinkle the cheese on thin slices of baguette and toast under the broiler for elegant croutons, then float them in the bowls of soup.

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