This recipe is from From America's Test Kitchen Season 12. Dustin loved this soup, I made it for dinner on Halloween I thought the green soup would be fun and some vegetables before all the candy was a good idea.
I like to know why certain things work when we cook so I thought you also might find the following info interesting. Overcooked broccoli has a sulfurous flavor, but we discovered when we cooked our broccoli beyond the point of just overcooked—for a full hour—those sulfur-containing compounds broke down, leaving behind intense, nutty broccoli. Its texture was fairly soft, but that was perfect for use in a soup. Adding baking soda to the pot sped up the process, shortening the broccoli’s cooking time to a mere 20 minutes. A little spinach lent bright green color to the soup without taking over the flavor.
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds broccoli, florets roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Table salt
- 3–4 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
- 2 ounces baby spinach (2 loosely packed cups)
- 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine (about 3/4 cup), plus extra for serving
- Ground black pepper
- 1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven(I don't own one so I used a regular pot) over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.
- 2. Add broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium-high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to Dutch oven, place over medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust consistency of soup with up to 1 cup water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.