“Whatcha gonna do with all those stalks, all those stalks inside that box?”
You’re lucky you can’t hear me sing Black Eyed Peas. You’re welcome. Hi, I’m Amee (of rabbit food rocks), and I’m a new Greenling blogger! I’ll be helping you find ways to make delicious vegetarian dishes with all that Local Box fruit and veg.
So if you don’t know what to do with these lovely lady…stumps, I’ve got you covered with two beautiful words: beer and cheese.
You have to be in the right mood for any kind of broccoli-cheese soup, but what I don’t like is when I order a cup of soup and they bring me what resembles queso. Here’s a recipe for a lighter version, but you’ll see that I open the door to be indulgent too. Enjoy!
Broccoli, Cheddar, and Beer Soup
1-1/2 Tablespoons oil (canola)
1/2 an onion, diced
1-1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli stalks* (this is a rough estimate – do not go OCD on me)
3/4 cup beer, preferable a pale ale (I used a black lager, but follow Simon Says, ok?)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter (insert mmm here)
1-1/2 cups lowfat milk (1% or 2%)
1/2 cups whole milk (whole milk would be good; half-n-half would be cray cray.)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese, packed (I used rich and creamy local cheddar from Veldhuizen that I added to my Greenling order this week)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and chopped broccoli stalks and saute until onions appear translucent. Add beer and allow it to cook down for about 5 minutes or until there is minimal liquid. It should look swampy, not soupy. Cook the beer WAY down, where you shouldn’t have much liquid, but it shouldn’t be dry either. Then empty contents into a small bowl.
2. Melt butter in the same pot and then whisk in flour until it looks homogeneous (yeah – big word for me too).
3. Lower heat to medium. Whisk in 1/2 cup whole milk plus 1 cup only of the lowfat milk. Cook for 5 minutes, until it has thickened into a sauce. It should remind you of a very naughty Alfredo sauce almost. Lower heat to low and whisk in grated cheese. Now it should look queso-y.
4. Allow cheese to melt completely, add broccoli-onion mixture, and season with ~ 1 teaspoon salt and some ground pepper.
5. Remove from heat. Cool slightly, and then using a blender or immersion blender, blend. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk. Blend. Return mixture to pot. Heat on medium-low and add pepper. Taste. Spike it with a tiny dash of a peppery tabasco maybe?
6. Serve** or pack for lunch. Make obnoxious mmmm sounds in your cubicle.
*Don’t even think about taking 3 minutes out of your day to peel the outer layer of the broccoli stalks. It’s all going to be cooked and blended into a soup. You’ll live. Use that time for something more valuable – like updating your Facebook profile picture.
**When you are done, you won’t see nomadic bits of broccoli florets in your bowl because we only used stalks, but if that bothers you either (a) add the florets in step 1 or (b) close your eyes.