Broccoli, Ham & Cheese Soup
October 24, 2016
Broccoli, ham and cheese-- sounds like a delicious, melty sandwich or quiche, but it's actually a rich and creamy soup. The from-scratch ham stock can be scratched if you don't have the time or the hock; just substitute a flavorful chicken or vegetable stock instead.
To make the ham stock:
1Add all the stock ingredients to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 4-5 hours. When done, remove ham hock and set into a small pot. Strain out the rest of the solids from the stock pot and allow the liquid stock to keep on bubbling and reducing.
2Add about 1-1.5 cups of stock to the ham hock in the small pot and bring to a boil. Cover almost entirely with a lid and reduce heat. Turn off heat when the meat is falling off the bone and falling apart. Remove meat from bones and roughly chop. Save the bones and cartilage for another round of stock or discard.
To make soup:
1Chop the broccoli into very small florets. Peel and remove the tough outer layer from the stalks, and chop the soft white interior into small pieces.
2Melt some butter or oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook for 7-8 minutes over medium-low till softened and light yellow. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the broccoli and cook for 10 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't burn.
3Add 6 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
4While the soup is simmering, make your roux. Melt the two tbsp of butter in a small pot (where you braised the ham hock, if it's done). Whisk in the flour, whisking continuously for 2-3 minutes over very low heat. Once the floury smell is gone, whisk in your 1 cup of stock, cream, or half n' half and keep stirring till thickened.
5Add the roux into the soup and stir well, allowing to thicken. Puree half of the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender. Stir the grated cheese and grated carrot and mix well. Taste to adjust seasoning- a little bit of pepper and maybe a bit of salt (but the cheese and ham hock add a lot of sodium, so taste first.) Add in some pieces of chopped ham to each bowl. Enjoy warm!
For Ham Stock (if subbing veggie or chicken stock or store-bought, omit)
Mixing in at the end