Aroostook Potato, Cheese and Broccoli Soup

This time of year when broccoli is in season, I find it is extremely easy to go overboard and buy  a lot; it’s just so beautiful and cheap, I have a hard time resisting. Luckily this recipe is perfect for just such an occasion, and served with a simple salad or crusty bread, it makes for a nice homey meal on a crisp, cool day.

I love any soup with broccoli in it. Every Christmas my grandparents make a fantastic cream of broccoli soup that is super rich and oh so creamy; my sister likes to call it liquid gold because it’s just that good. This soup, is quicker to make and more figure friendly, but hits a lot of the same flavors that are in my grandparents soup.


Aroostook Potato, Cheese and Broccoli Soup

Adapted from Dishing Up Maine
Makes 4-6 servings
Aroostook county is the most northern county in Maine, sharing a border with Quebec and New Brunswick. 
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled 3/8-inch diced all-purpose potatoes (about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 pounds)
5 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped (about 1 pound of broccoli crowns)
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
4 ounces grated Cheddar cheese (1 generous cup)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Additional grated Cheddar cheese for serving

Melt butter in a large heavy bottom saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and mustard (if using), and cook for one minute more stirring constantly.

Add broth and potatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. When potatoes are tender, use a potato masher to gently mash about half of the potatoes in the soup. This will help to thicken the soup.

Add broccoli and half-and-half (I used whole milk because I had it in the fridge). Bring to a gentle simmer, but do not boil. Cook broccoli for 10-20 minutes, or until it is tender. Remove pan from heat.

Stir in cheese and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

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