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Broccoli Cheddar Soup By: Beer Bitty

The other day my future mother-in-law dropped off about 6 very large heads of broccoli from her garden; it’s quite the impressive array of fruits and veggies so I never refuse. But what on Earth can one possibly make with 6 very large heads of broccoli before it goes bad?? Needless to say, I've been trying to work my through as much of it as possible. This recipe is incredibly simple and used up a sixth of the supply.You may need 2 if the ones on your grocery store shelves aren't quite as humongous. The beer adds a nice bitter malt flavor that compliments the cheddar and stands up against the broccoli. I ditch the cream in favor of goat cheese for richness as it provides a nice tang that pairs well with the lemon juice.The only catch? Eat it fresh. This is not a soup that’ll keep.

Ingredients

  1. 1 large broccoli head, ~3/4 to 1 lbs.
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2 tbs. olive oil
  5. 4 tbs. butter
  6. 4 tbs. all purpose flour
  7. 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar, grated
  8. ½ to 1 cup mild cheddar, grate
  9. ⅓ cup goat cheese
  10. 24 oz. chicken stock
  11. 8 oz. Rye IPA or California Common
  12. pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  13. salt and pepper

Steps

  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and cook until translucent. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and lots of freshly grated pepper. Stir occasionally until fragrant; sprinkle flour over the onion mixture. Cook an additional 2 minutes to remove any raw flour flavor.
  2. Pour beer and stock into the pot; bring to a simmer. Add broccoli and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the florets are fork tender. Add cheese; stir until fully melted.

  3. Puree away! This step is a matter of personal preference. I prefer a pulverized soup with a few broccoli chunks. Use a stick blender, regular blender, or food processor to puree to the desired consistency.

  4. Return to the soup pot; reduce heat to low. Taste! I like to add a splash of fresh lemon juice for a bit of acidity. The seasonings may also need to be adjusted.. more salt, more pepper? Hell, maybe it needs more cheese! Want a richer flavor? Try adding a splash or two of heavy cream.

  5. Serve with Rye IPA and a loaf of crusty bread.

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