Broccoli Cheese Soup
Today’s dinner was broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl. Originally, I had planned to use stilton, but the local grocer was out. Instead, I improvised: two parts medium cheddar to one bleu, with a sprinkle of gorgonzola.
Gorgonzola is a go-to cheese for me, because even when used in small amounts, it imparts that quintessential cheesy flavor. The bleu wasn’t strong enough by itself, and cheddar is so ubiquitous that even extra sharp can fade when paired with other flavors.
Marjoram, dill, and bay leaves were the primary seasonings, along with garlic salt, fresh ground pepper, minced onion, and celery seeds for flavor and body.
I am challenged by cheese sauces and soups because they separate on me. The key, I’ve found, is slow and steady heating. I thought I had the heat low enough (my electric stove is a handicap in this regard), but I didn’t factor in the latent heat of the broccoli, which I boiled rather than steamed today and failed to cool before adding. It was enough to curdle the cheddar.
This was my first time cooking with bread bowls, and I was glad I left the scooped-out bread aside! I rubbed the bread shells with olive oil and baked them at 375° for 10 minutes. When I pulled them out, one had a pinprick hole in the bottom and another had a very thin side. Before I poured the soup in, I used the doughy bread like spackle and it held up beautifully!
Despite some minor missteps, the kids and I really enjoyed it! They devoured the soup heartily, broccoli and all. We also got a kick out of eating the bread bowls towards the end of the meal.