Featured Recipe

Broccoli, Beer and Cheese Soup


 Broccoli Soup Large

Yield: 8 portions

Executive Chef Jacob Moyer

With the change in season, what's better than a bowl of hearty soup to warm you on a cold day? This season's recipe pairs two local ingredients with potatoes and broccoli for a Pacific Northwest twist on a Wisconsin classic. With the abundance of independent microbreweries and hand-crafted cheeses in our area, your choice of ingredients can make this recipe all your own. See my suggestions regarding beer and cheese selection in the recipe below. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 each          white onion, diced small (about 1.5 cups)

1 each          carrot, peeled and diced small (about 1.5 cups)

2 each          celery stalks, diced small (about 1.5 cups)

3 cloves        garlic, peeled and minced

2 tbsp.          olive oil

4 cups           chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup            sour cream

1 cup            whole milk

1 tbsp.          Dijon mustard

1.5 cups        beer* (about 1 bottle)

5 each           medium-sized russet potatoes, washed and peeled, ¾-inch dice

4 cups           broccoli florets cut small

1.5 cups        shredded Beecher's Flagship cheese (or other sharp, aged cheese)

to taste          salt and fresh-ground pepper

Method 

  1. Prepare all ingredients as noted. Add olive oil to a pot and sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic over medium heat. 
  2. When vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, add the diced potatoes, beer and chicken stock along with a pinch of salt.  Bring to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are just soft.
  3. Add the milk, sour cream, Dijon mustard and broccoli florets. Gently incorporate the dairy products. Simmer gently until broccoli is cooked.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove about 1/3 of the cooked broccoli and potatoes and set aside in an appropriate container. Using an immersion blender (a regular blender works as well; puree soup in batches), carefully puree the remaining solids** along with the broth. Use caution as the soup will be extremely hot.
  5. Over low heat, stir the shredded cheese into the pureed soup. When the cheese is incorporated, add the reserved cooked potatoes and broccoli. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

*I wrote this recipe using a local microbrew, IPA. The bitterness of the hops was definitely apparent in the final soup, which tasted great to me. If you want to dial the beer flavor back, use a lighter beer such as a pilsner or lager.

**Puree as much or as little as desired. The more solids that are reserved, the chunkier the final soup will be. The thickness of the final soup comes from pureed potatoes. If you find the soup too thick, you can certainly thin it out as desired with additional chicken stock.