There is a wonderful tea room, A Taste of Britain, near where I live and it is a favorite lunch spot with friends. Although they make wonderful scones, tea sandwiches and offer a lovely selection of loose leaf teas, their soups and salads are outstanding and what I usually order. Recently I enjoyed a delicious broccoli-bacon-gruyère soup that was out of this world! Thick and creamy with a hint of smokiness from the bacon, it was memorable. I tried to recreate it here. My version has no cream with the thickness coming from giving the soup a whirl in the blender. Use a good melting cheese such as gruyère or aged cheddar. Finish the soup with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and grated cheese. Soup’s on!
Cheesy Broccoli-Bacon Soup
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 3 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 6 cups of broccoli, florets and stem, chopped
- 8 cups of stock: chicken or stock made from a ham bone
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of grated cheese: gruyère, cheddar, or any mixture of good melting cheese
- In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the onion and celery with the bacon until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the broccoli, thyme and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 30-45 minutes until the broccoli stems are soft. If using only the florets, the soup will cook in 20 minutes.
- Purée the soup to a chunky consistency in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender. Return to the pot and fold in the cheese until it is melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If you want to freeze the soup, refrain from adding the cheese until ready to consume the soup.