Spinach and Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Charred Scallion
Broccoli cheddar soup is a classic, but it's often mishandled resulting in a thick and gloppy mess; this version adds spinach for a vibrant color and combines aged cheddar with charred scallions for depth of flavor. Waiting until the very last moment to add spinach gives this soup a bright green pop.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 stalks celery finely chopped (about 1 cup; save the leaves for garnish)
- 3 large carrots peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- 10 –12 fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 3½ cups broccoli stems peeled, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- ½ pound Australian aged cheddar such as Old Croc Extra Sharp Cheddar, shredded
- 6 scallions
- 1 pound fresh spinach rinsed and stems trimmed
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sherry or apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter, and add 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pan, and sauté until transparent and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the tarragon, and stir for another minute. Add the white wine, and let the mirepoix simmer for about 7 minutes. Add the broth, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
- To the pan, add the broccoli, and cook until just fork-tender, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheese, stirring until melted.
- While the soup cools, char the scallions. Toss the scallions in the remaining ½ teaspoon oil, spread out onto a small baking sheet, and place under a broiler set to high. Rotate the pan as needed until the scallions are covered in blackened and blistered spots. Remove from broiler, let cool, and chop into pieces for garnish.
- When the soup has cooled slightly, add the spinach, cream, and sherry. Blend with a hand blender or in a regular blender until smooth. Season to taste. Portion into bowls, top with celery leaves and charred scallion, and serve immediately.
Adapted from Eden East