This is an excellent soup that uses all of the bunch of broccoli; including the stems for extra flavor. I have a Bamix stick blender, which makes pureeing the stems while hot really easy. I adapted the recipe from an old one I found in Fine Cooking so long ago I can’t remember what I changed. I use home-canned chicken or turkey broth; you can use vegetable broth if desired. This can be gluten-free if you are careful about the broth you choose and shred your own cheese.
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Onion -- medium dice
2 medium Carrots -- thinly sliced
1 stalk Celery -- thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Garlic -- minced
1 1/4 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/4 cups Water
2 tablespoons Sherry
3/4 pound Broccoli Stems -- thinly sliced stems
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 cups Broccoli Florets
4 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese -- shredded
In a 2-3-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir well, cover, and reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics are softened, 5 minutes.
Add the broccoli, chicken broth, garlic and sherry, plus as much water as broth. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender and the soup is full-flavored, 20 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and let the soup cool for 5 minutes. Set the pan in the sink, and puree with a stick blender (or working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, filling the jar no more than half full and venting the lid, topping it with a folded kitchen towel to prevent hot splashes. Put the soup back into the pan.) Add the florets and cook 2-3 minutes.
Add the cream and the vinegar. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with more salt, pepper, or vinegar as needed. Take off heat and add cheese, letting it melt.
Yield: "1 1/2 quarts"