Cream of Broccoli Soup

Now that the weather is getting warm and here in Tennessee we’ve already had more than our share of 80+ degree days, I know everyone is chomping at the bit for some good soup recipes.

Right?

No?

Oops, sorry.

Okay, just kidding. I made this soup a few weeks ago when the weather was still trying to decide if it was spring or summer. Now that it is officially summer weather (even though we still have more than a month until it is officially summer) this soup may seem out of place, but I still like soup, coffee, and hot chocolate in the summer as long as I’m in the air-conditioned comfort of my house.

I got some great broccoli from Fall Creek Farms and turned it into this delicious soup. I love broccoli in soups, especially cream of broccoli and broccoli cheddar. I make lots of soups in my Crock-pot, but the one time I made broccoli soup in my Crock-pot my house smelled like hot garbage for two days. I won’t make that mistake again. But I digress….

Start your soup by chopping up half of a medium onion and melting a couple of tablespoons of butter in a soup pot over medium heat. I like to use my Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven to make pureed soups (so I can use my immersion blender, something I can’t risk when cooking in my nonstick pots). Cook the onion for four or five minutes or until it softens.

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Meanwhile, chop up a few bunches of broccoli. I used two or three, I don’t really remember. I never feel it’s necessary to be too obsessive about amounts where most soups are concerned. I like to peel the stalks and chop them up too.  Add the broccoli to the pot and stir for a couple of minutes to get just a little browning. I like to do this to up the flavor quotient just a little bit.

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Measure a couple of cups of chicken stock. This is homemade, and now you know my dirty secret….I don’t strain my chicken stock. I’m too lazy to do it, and I feel like it’s a waste of time and cheesecloth. So there. My stock still tastes good. I made this in my Crock-pot the day that I made this soup. Pour it over the broccoli-onion mixture and let it come to a simmer until the broccoli is softened.

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Measure 1/4 cup (1/2 cup if you like a thicker soup) of flour into a jar or a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in a couple of cups of milk, lid on, and give it a good shake to make a slurry. I hate that word. Does. Not. Sound. Appetizing. But that’s what it is…so…a slurry is a liquid thickener, basically….a combination of liquid and flour or cornstarch. Pour it into the soup and let it come to a bubble to thicken. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender then season with salt and pepper to taste.

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I made Swiss-parmesan toast to go with mine, but it would also be great with a BLT or grilled cheese, crackers, crusty French bread, cornbread, biscuits….okay, what wouldn’t it be good with? I can’t think of anything….

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