With the colder weather I’m always in the mood for soup, which probably drives my boyfriend nuts. I’ve been making it a couple times a week lately. But after trying the Broccoli and Cheddar soup when we met Wolfgang Puck earlier this month to learn about their new Wolfgang Puck Cooking School– I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It’s actually easier than you’d think to make, but even better it’s an absolute crowd pleaser! I think when I made the soup I was a bit low on broccoli compared to what the recipe calls for, and added extra cheese for our liking. You can find this recipe on the Wolfgang Puck Cooking School, as well as other recipes to make the famous recipes by the chef.
Adding good Cheddar cheese can turn everyone into a broccoli lover with one taste of this easy-to-make soup. Chilling the soup right after pureeing keeps the flavor bright green. The soup is also delicious made cauliflower. Prepare the crostini while the soup reheats.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large leeks, halved lengthwise, thoroughly rinsed, and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 7 cups Classic Chicken Stock (recipe follows), or vegetable stock, or good-quality low-sodium canned broth
- 1 tablespoon honey
- kosher salt
- freshly ground white pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds broccoli, stems peeled and coarsely chopped, florets cut into smaller pieces
- 1/2 lemons
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 loaf crusty French bread or Italian bread
- extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Sweating the leeks & garlic Heat the oil and butter in a large nonreactive pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic, reduce the heat to low, and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent and very tender but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Adding stock & seasonings Stir in the stock, honey, salt, and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high, bring to a simmer, and continue simmering for 5 minutes.
- Cooking the broccoli Stir in the broccoli squeeze in the juice of the lemon, and drizzle in the honey. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is barely tender and still bright green, 4 to 5 minutes
- Pureeing the soup Working carefully in batches, use a blender or food processor to puree the soup; or puree in the pot with an immersion blender.
- Adding cheese If serving the soup hot immediately, shred or sprinkle the 1 cup of cheese into the blender, dividing it among the batches. Pulse to combine it with the hot puree.
- Chilling & reheating the soup If you’re making the soup in advance or want to serve a cold pureed broccoli soup, transfer the soup to a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl inside a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Stir until cooled down completely. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving. If reheating, stir the Cheddar into the soup over medium heat.
- Making the crostini While the soup cooks or reheats, preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the oven to the broil setting. Shred or sprinkle the remaining cheese over the slices and broil until melted, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
- Serving the soup Ladle the hot soup into heated serving bowls and sprinkle or shred a little more cheese over its surface. Float a crostini on top, serving more crostini on the side.