I think everyone here in the UK would agree with me when I say that this year we have had the worst summer ever. Again at the beginning of this past weekend, there were promised of a beautiful Indian Summer looming . . . and we actually kind of bought into it too . . . Saturday and Sunday were lovely . . . but then today, we are back to rain, wind, cold . . .
Combine that with the fact that I have had workmen in my house all day working on the bath renovation . . . power on, power off . . . the whole larder turned out so that they can access some wiring, etc. etc. the list goes on and on . . . end result being . . . tonight was a soup for supper night.
There is a definite chill in the air as well . . . and with the damp, soup for supper went down a real treat. Especially when it is as deliciously different and filling as this one. You get a deliciously creamy broccoli soup . . . topped with a scrummy yummy cheese crust . . . well, kind of like cheese on toast . . . baked on top of a delicious broccoli soup. There's no better way to describe it!
Todd hates broccoli . . . hmmm . . . perhaps hate is too strong a word . . . Todd hugely dislikes broccoli . . . and, with a passion. I do cook it though, from time to time, for I love it . . . and he does eat it, when I do prepare it. Let's just say, it's not his favourite thing . . . at all!
Mostly I try to disguise it in other things. Kind of like what you do to children when they take a dislike to something. Telling my kids that they were little green trees never worked . . . and it doesn't work with Todd either.
One thing the Toddster does love though is soup . . . creamy soups . . . not thin broth ones . . . soups with substance. If I can disguise broccoli as soup, then he's a very, very happy camper!
Just look at that crispy bread crust, slathered in oodles of scrummy cheddar cheese . . . and just beneath that crunchy rich surface . . . creamy rich broccoli, with more than a hint of cheese, enriched with cream.
Ohhh la la . . . c'est magnifique! Or should I call it scrummily moreish??? This is The English Kitchen after all!!
*Cheddar Crusted Broccoli Soup*
A well flavoured broccoli and cheese soup, topped with a rich and tasty Cheddar Cheese Crust!
1 large bunch of broccoli, about 1 1/4 pounds, wash and trim,
Chop into bits
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
3 TBS butter
5 cups well flavoured vegetable broth
2 TBS dijon mustard
1 cup double cream
salt and black pepper to taste
8 ounces of shredded strong cheddar cheese
(about 2 cups)
For the crust:
2 large crusty rolls
6 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
(about 1 1/2 cups)
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium low heat, without colouring, until the onions are softened. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the potatoes are soft. Add the chopped broccoli. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 4 to 5 minutes, until the broccoli is crispy tender and has not lost it's colour. Remove from the heat and puree, using a stick blender, or very carefully in a regular blender, until smooth.
Return the soup to the heat. Stir in the mustard, double cream and cheese. Cook and stir until the cheese melts. Taste and season with salt and black pepper as needed. Keep warm.
Heat the grill to high. Cut the ends off of each of your rolls and then cut the middles into two thick slices. Toast them on both sides under the grill.
Place four heavy soup bowls on an oven tray. You want bowls that will be safe under the grill. Ladle the hot soup into the bowls, dividing it equally amongst the four dishes. Float a slice of toasted bread on top of each, then sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese evenly over top, again dividing it equally amongst the four dishes.
Slide the tray with the filled soup bowls under the grill and grill until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove from the grill and serve immediately.
Note: Take care not to burn yourself on the bowls. Use a kitchen towel or pot holders.