This is my watered-down version of Emeril Lagasse’s broccoli cheese soup. I use fresh broccoli rather than frozen and add about a cup of the broccoli water to Emeril’s regular ingredients. This makes the soup thin and streamy versus thick and creamy. If you like a more traditional texture, omit that step and make the Big E proud.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup green onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar
In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. If using frozen, add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes. (I use 3-4 cups of fresh broccoli rather than frozen. I add the chopped pieces to boiling salted water for about five minutes, then strain and add to my stock mixture. I also add a cup or cup and a half of the broccoli water at this point.)
Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)
Add the cream and bring to soft simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend. Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls.