Sunday, September 23, 2012

Broccoli Chowder with Cheddar Toast

The last few days here have been very breezy and cool, which definitely makes it feel like Fall is in the air.  I LOVE Fall and the gorgeous colors that come with it, and I always look forward to cooking warm, comfort food again.  Soup recipes always come in handy because at least in my home I can make them stretch for a couple of nights since there's just the two of us.  I hope you enjoy this one!

Broccoli Chowder with Cheddar Toast

2 strips bacon, thinly sliced (ummm....are they joking?!  I'd triple this, at a minimum)
2 Tbsp. unsalted buter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 C low-sodium chicken broth
2 C milk
4 small red-skinned potatoes (about 6 oz.), quartered
1/2 head broccoli (about 10 oz.), broken into florets, stem peeled and sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbstp. dijon mustard
1 baguette, sliced into 8 1/4-inch thick pieces
4 oz. cheddar (or your favorite....I think gruyere) cheese, cut into 8 thin slices

Cook the bacon in the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat until it renders slightly, about 2 minutes.  Add the onion, garlic and celery seed and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.  Scatter the flour over the mixture and stir to coat.  Gradually add the broth and the milk, whisking until smooth.

Add the potatoes and sliced broccoli stem; increase the heat to medium and simmer, covered, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the broccoli florets and season with 1/2 tsp. salt.  Continue cooking, uncovered, at a rapid simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the upper part of the oven and preheat the broiler to high.  Spread the mustard on each piece of baguette and top with a slice of cheese.  Place on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese melts; serve with the soup.

Serves: 4

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