It’s Almost Fall – Browned Butter and Four Cheese Broccoli Soup
I really love this time of year. The weather gets cooler, the leaves on the trees go from brilliant green to gold, red, and orange. They fall to the ground, seemingly so we can make piles and jump in them, or just to take long walks inhaling the wonderful smells. Fall. It’s the best time of the year.
Where I live, in Southern California, this isn’t actually going to be a reality for another month or two (I’m hoping one, every year I hope). But, I grew up in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, so I remember it well. The changing of the seasons. It feels kinda magical, miraculous…
I’m always excited for something in a new season. In the summer I just can’t wait for the peaches, nectarines, plums, watermelons, and zucchinis. Spring brings delicate asparagus, sweet sugar snap peas, and green onions. Winter brings out the hearty root veggies. The beets, rutabagas, and heavy winter squashes. There’s so much to look forward to! And that’s just the produce! In the fall, after much anticipation and 100 degree days, there is also relief and a breath of fresh air.
I just can’t wait.
It’s supposed to be around 100 degrees F all week, but that won’t stop me from making soup. Soup is too much of a favorite to be saved for just the cooler months. Around here, we’d almost never get to eat it then. So I make summer soups, like some of my favorites: Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (hello comfort food!), or Summer Chili and Cornbread. And then, when there’s broccoli at the beginning of September, I make Browned Butter and Four Cheese Broccoli Soup.
Let’s talk about it. Yes, I think it’s so good that it warrants a discussion.
First of all, there’s broccoli. Hello vitamin C! (Did you know that broccoli contains 90Ã‚ mg vitamin C/100g and an orange contains 53Ã‚ mg vitamin C/100g*?! Eat your broccoli. For real.) You can totally eat the stems of the broccoli, although I’d give ’em a good peel first, because they can be tough. If you prefer not to eat them, try your hand at making homemade vegetable stock. It’s so easy you won’t even believe you used to pay for it!
Now let’s talk about cheese. I have to tell you something: I love cheese (maybe not as much as I love bacon, but that’s a conversation for another time). For this soup I used: cheddar, Parmesan, smoked gouda, and my all-time favorite, gruyÃƒ¨re. Buuuuut, you could switch it up. Cheeses that go well with broccoli are: cheddar, feta, goat, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Swiss. In general though, I’d suggest that you use what you have on hand. If your family is crazy about cheddar, feel free to use only cheddar (or whatever cheese your family is just too happy to eat). That’s my cooking philosophy – I like to use what I have on hand to create something that I hope will be exceptional.
Please don’t be afraid of the cream. It’s just a wee little bit. If you really don’t want to use it, I won’t be offended. Just add a splash more milk. It will be slightly less rich, but won’t hurt anything.
Along with the broccoli, there are carrots, Korean daikon radish, onion, and garlic. You could also add small pieces of cauliflower (oh boy! That would be yummy!)… I think there are an infinite amount of ways that this soup could be amazing. I can’t wait for you to try it for yourself!
Invite your friends over. I think this one’s gonna be a hit!
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- 2 heads (4 C) broccoli, roughly chopped in small pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1/2 C Korean daikon radish (optional)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 T red pepper flakes
- 1 t salt, or to taste
- 1/4 t pepper
- 1 T balsamic vinegar, divided (1/2 T, 1/2 T)
- 1/2 t dijon mustard
- 1 T all purpose flour mixed with 1/4 C cold water
- 2 C vegetable stock (or water)
- 2 C milk
- 2 T heavy cream
- 1 1/2 C cheese (cheddar, smoked gouda, parmesan, GruyÃƒ¨re), grated
- In a soup pot, add butter and let it brown (watch carefully so it doesn’t burn – sometimes I partially cover it so it doesn’t splatter too much).
- Once the butter has browned, add olive oil, let it get hot, then add all veggies (except garlic) and seasonings. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 14 minutes, or until veggies are fairly tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add 1/2 T balsamic vinegar and cook for about 30 seconds. Add mustard and stir in. Add water/stock and water-flour mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until veggies are to desired tenderness and soup is thickened slightly, about 20-30 minutes.
- Add milk and cream. Heat until it’s hot and steam rises, but it does not boil (letting it boil means it will break – not the end of the world, it will still taste fine, just doesn’t look great). Remove from heat and whisk in cheese, a little bit at a time. Add 1/2 T balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Leftover soup is great re-heated the next day. If you want to try making it into a new meal, add some soup to leftover brown rice, along with some leftover cooked chicken breast, and bake it until it’s hot to make a Chicken and Rice Casserole.
If you still have some broccoli left over after you make this soup, try roasting it. Toss it with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 15-30 minutes (or until the broccoli is a bit crispy and slightly browned).Ã‚ This is one of my favorite ways to eat broccoli… but then most ways to eat it are my favorite (psst! don’t tell my 8 year old self).
*Information from Wikipedia.