Broccoli and Cheese Soup


2 1/2 pounds broccoli (about 2 bunches)
1 cup chopped green onion
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, freshly ground if possible
salt and pepper to taste


Cut enough broccoli florets to measure about 2 cups. Cut remaining broccoli into 1-inch pieces. In separate saucepans, cook florets and broccoli pieces in lightly salted boiling water for a few minutes, or until just tender. Florets will take less time to cook. Immediately rinse with cold water to stop cooking; drain. Refrigerate florets until serving time. In a large saucepan saute green onions in butter until tender; about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook one minute longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chicken broth. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli pieces to the broth then puree mixture in an electric blender in batches until smooth; return to pan. Just before serving, blend in cream and Swiss cheese. Simmer gently until cheese melts. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Add reserved florets and heat through. serves 6.

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