We eat a lot of soup at The Madhouse and it all starts off in pretty much the same way - putting vegetables in a pot (maybe with cooked bacon or chicken carcasses), covering them in water or stock, cooking them then using a stick blender to create a thick soup, adding seasoning or a splash of cream. Well, today I experimented with a new technique and it created a beautifully thick and creamy soup so I'll definitely have to experiment with other flavour combinations.
Cheesy Broccoli Soup
2 cups chicken stock
2 heads of broccoli (or 500g frozen broccoli)
5tbsp cream cheese/cheese spread (Philadelphia or Dairylea for example)
a good handful of grated cheese
salt, garlic pepper, nutmeg, smoked paprika, garlic granules
to serve : dried grilled onions, black onion seeds
Melt the butter, add the flour and cook over a gentle heat for a few minutes, stirring to create a roux.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. Toss in the broccoli, chopped into florets. Add extra water to cover if necessary. Cook for 15 minutes or so, until a knife goes through easily but it's still bright green. Turn off the heat.
Use a stick blender to puree the broccoli. Add the cheeses and seasonings and whisk to create a thick, smooth soup.
Scatter with dried grilled onions and black onion seeds for extra flavour.
It's a very mild, almost sweet soup, so it's appealing to children. You could always give it a bit of oomph by adding some chilli or curry powder though.