This is a popular item at restaurants and the soup station at supermarkets, yet so often tastes gummy. My recipe is chunky and creamy at the same time, thanks to a simple roux technique and not over-blending.
- 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large sweet onion, about 12 ounces, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Coarse salt
- 2 pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets (slice stems into discs)
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups milk
- 10 ounces sharp or very sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the onions, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt to help the onions sweat. Sauté until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook until it turns a brighter green, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer all the veggies to a large bowl next to your cooktop.
Add the rest of the olive oil to the pot along with the flour and stir vigorously for 2 minutes to make a roux and cook the flour. Whisk in the broth, a half-cup at a time, letting the mixture come to a boil before adding the next half-cup. Repeat the technique with the milk and then stir in 8 ounces of the cheese. When smooth, add back in the vegetables. Continue to cook, partly covered, at a low simmer for 30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Stir occasionally to make sure all the broccoli gets submerged.
Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a standard blender, blend the soup, stopping short of a full purée. Taste and season as desired with salt and pepper. Garnish servings with the rest of the grated cheddar and a drizzle of olive oil.
Yields 8 to 10 servings