broccoli soup

The coastside can be quite chilly, even in the heat of the summer. Soup is a requisite on most of our menus, and Mark’s Broccoli Soup is our favorite. This is a pretty healthy version, with no cream (although a lot of cheese), but you won’t believe how rich and warm it is. As always, the fresher the broccoli (and the spinach–yes that is the “secret” ingredient to producing that beautiful green color), the better the soup!

  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 pounds Broccoli, forets roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dry Mustard Powder
  • a pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • Coarse Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 3-4 cups Water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 ounces Baby Spinach
  • 3 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for serving
  1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium high heat. When the foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of the water and baking soda. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.
  3. Add the chicken stock and 2 more cups of water. Increase the heat to medium high  and when the mixture comes up to a simmer, stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer half of the soup to a blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer soup to a medium bowl and puree the remaining soup.
  6. Return soup to the Dutch oven, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  7. Adjust the consistency with the remaining cup of water, adding only as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing extra Parmesan on the side.

Courtesy of Tante Marie’s Cooking School.