Serves 6 To 8
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds broccoli, florets chopped into 1-inch pieces, stalks peeled and sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
1 onion, chopped coarse
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1⁄2 teaspoons dry mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
3–4 cups water
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 ounces baby spinach (2 cups)
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3⁄4 cup)
1-1⁄2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine (3⁄4 cup), plus extra for serving
1 recipe BUTTER CROUTONS
- Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, onion, garlic, mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.
- Add broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium-high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to Dutch oven, place over medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust consistency of soup with up to 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing extra Parmesan.
To make a vegetarian version of this soup, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
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