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SMOKY CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP WITH SHARP CHEDDAR

Updated: November 4, 2012 6:05AM



MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Start to finish: 45 minutes

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3/4 pound Canadian bacon, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, sliced (about 1 cup)

2 pounds fresh broccoli (4 cups small florets set aside, the rest, including the stalks, trimmed of tough skin and coarsely chopped)

1 small Yukon Gold potato (about 6 ounces), scrubbed and thinly sliced

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large saucepan over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the Canadian bacon and cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until slightly golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a bowl and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add another tablespoon of the oil and the onion to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the coarsely chopped broccoli (not the florets), potato and chicken broth. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, stirring every so often, or until the broccoli and potatoes are very tender.

Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet toss the florets with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Season with salt and pepper, then spread in an even layer. Roast in the top third of the oven for 5 minutes, or until lightly caramelized.

When the vegetables in the soup are tender, transfer the soup to a blender and puree, in batches, until smooth. Be careful and only fill the blender a third full each time.

Return the soup to the saucepan, along with the roasted broccoli florets and the Canadian bacon. Add the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Add water, if necessary, to achieve the desired texture. Ladle the soup into 4 shallow soup bowls and top each portion with some of the Cheddar.



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