I have been feeling veg deprived. In reality I haven't been, but with springy weather I just can't seem to get enough garden goodness (even though our local gardens aren't producing yet). I came across this Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder recipe on epicurious.com and thought it sounded like it was just what I needed. I did make some changes to the recipe so I thought I'd share my version with you - and I must note that although my husband doesn't like broccoli (unless it is raw and dipped in ranch) he gave me the go ahead to make this soup again!
A lot of my changes to recipe were just because that is what I had on hand so feel free to read through mine and the original and make your own changes - you could probably use milk in place of the half and half and cream cheese to reduce the fat even more.
- 3 small heads broccoli (1/2 pound)
- 3 new potatoes (1/2 pound)
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup neufchatel cheese (low fat cream cheese)
- 6 oz extra sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes - I leave the peal on. Cook potato, onion, bell pepper, broccoli stems, and garlic in butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cumin, salt, pepper, and mustard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add reserved cooking water and simmer (partially covered), stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in cream cheese,half and half, and cheddar cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted, then season with salt and pepper.
Another job for your immersion blender here - remove pot from heat, insert immersion blender and puree until soup is partially pureed (use caution when blending hot liquids) or however smooth you want the soup. Add florets and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.