“As a student at Bloomsburg University, I spent many Sunday afternoons at Russell’s restaurant in downtown Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania,” writes Marganne Hoffman of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. “A decade after graduating, I still crave their cheddar-crusted broccoli soup. I would be thrilled if the owners would share the recipe—and so would my family.”
The stems and florets are added to the soup separately so that the stems will cook until tender and the florets won’t overcook.
Makes 6 servings.
- 6tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
- 2pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1large onion, chopped
- 2garlic cloves, minced
- 1teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 61/2cups chicken stock or canned
low-salt chicken broth
- 1cup whipping cream3tablespoons all purpose flour2cups (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
DIRECTIONS Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream.
Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup. Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.)
Preheat broiler. Place 6 ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes.