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Young Asiago & Broccoli Soup with Black Pepper Croutons

Young Asiago and Broccoli Soup with Black Pepper Croutons
Serves 4
Our broccoli-cheese soup is made brighter and a bit more elegant than the classic version from childhood with peppery homemade croutons, crumbles of Asiago, and a dash of fresh lemon.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  2. 2 cups diced country bread
  3. Salt and black pepper, to taste
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
  6. 2 stalks broccoli, stems and florets
  7. chopped separately
  8. 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  9. 1½ cups cubed Asiago
  10. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Warm 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the diced bread and cook, tossing, until toasted and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. Warm the remaining butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the potato, broccoli stems, and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Add the broccoli
  3. florets, and simmer until the broccoli is very tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the Asiago. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pot from the heat. Puree the soup in a blender, adding more stock or water if necessary to yield a smooth consistency. Spoon each serving into a bowl, and float the croutons on top.
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