I managed to salvage about 20 heads of broccoli this winter. The yield wasn’t as good this year for a couple of reasons (at least)- We had a 2 day cold snap where temps reached 20 (probably about 17F with the wind chill here on my side of town), and I didn’t have dependable drip irrigation on my garden this season. I had moved the drip irrigation setup to my new fruit orchard over the 2016 summer and hadn’t gotten around to setting a new one up. Anyhoo, I was able to eek out some veggies from 2016-2017 season.
These broccoli heads did not grow to 7 or 8 inches, like I got last year. Those last year were beautiful, like what you can buy at the store. These broccoli heads weren’t as tight and averaged about 4 inches width across. They also looked leggy, with the heads held up above the leaves. No matter, they still tasted good.
I made 8 quarts of Broccoli Cheddar Cheese soup with these. Now, you know, me being a little bit of a perfectionist, I researched the recipes and chose one that was just right…..Keep in mind that the recipe below is for the broccoli amount I show here.
BROCCOLI CHEDDAR CHEESE SOUP
chopped florets of 6 large heads of broccoli, into 1 inch pieces, don’t use too much of the stem
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp softened
2 carrots ,(optional) chopped fine in food processor
1 medium onion, chopped fine in food processor
6 garlic cloves, chopped fine in food processor
8 cups low sodium chicken broth (Knorr reconstituted is fine)
4 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (buy that big bag, just in case you want more)
- rinse broccoli heads well, make sure there aren’t any insects or larvae lurking
- chop your onion, garlic, and carrots in food processor
- make your chicken broth or have at the ready
- NOW, the cooking….
- In large 8 to 10 qt stockpot, over medium heat, melt the butter, and soften the onions and garlic over 3 min. Next, add the carrots, stir frequently so the butter doesn’t burn, for total of 5 to 7 minutes until onions and carrots barely soft
- add the broccoli, cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- add the chicken broth and thyme, turn up heat. Boil for 5 minutes, then lower heat to simmer. season with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper to taste. simmer for 15 minutes til veggies cooked.
- turn off heat, let cool for at least 30 minutes. Use an immersion stick blender to blenderize broccoli to soup size. (You should never put your stick blender into boiling liquids.)
- Turn on heat again to medium. add the cheese and stir until melted. lower heat to medium low and add cream to thicken to desired consistency.
- You can add even more cheese if you really like it cheesy! Or add more chicken stock if you like a thinner soup…..
- This will make 25 to 30 cups of soup. Plenty to freeze for future enjoyment.
It may be easier for you to cook the veggies in 2 stockpots and combine everything once it’s been blenderized.
This amount filled 5 of these 5 cup freezer containers. This soup is the best we’ve tasted. Too often, restaurant soup tastes like its made with orange Government cheese. And it lacks the oomph of garlic, onion and subtlety of thyme undercurrents. Try my recipe. You won’t regret it.