It is said that every cook/chef should have a signature dish. You know, that one dish that everyone loves and requests that you make it over and over again.
While my cakes, pies and yeast breads are the most requested by friends and family, and my roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy are a must for holidays, I recently learned that there is another dish that everyone considers to be my "signature" dish...My Crema de Brocoli (Cream of Broccoli soup).
My Hubby fell in love with Cream of Broccoli soup when we were dating. He ordered it at every restaurant we visited. Once we were married, I made it my mission to create the best Cream of Broccoli soup that we could enjoy at home. My recipe has developed over the years and I have added a couple of special ingredients, like beer and manchego cheese, to make it even better.
What is your signature dish?
Leslie's Best Ever Crema de Brocoli
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (I use Knorr-Suiza)
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 (325 ml) beer* (I recommend a light colored beer)
- 1 cup manchego or mild cheddar cheese, cut in small cubes
Place the broccoli florets, chopped onion and chicken bouillon in a medium (4 to 6 quart) stockpot with the 4 cups of water. Cover stockpot and cook over medium heat until the broccoli is tender.
Using a potato masher, break up the broccoli into very small pieces. You could also use an immersion blender or puree the broccoli in a blender, but I like the texture of tiny pieces of broccoli in my soup. Continue to cook over low heat.
While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
Add the flour to the melted butter.
Whisk until the butter and flour combine into a paste. This is called a roux and is a great base to many delicious sauces, including gravy. Whisk constantly and continue to cook the roux for a minute or two to let the flavors develop. (You want to cook off the flour-y taste.)
Gradually pour the milk into the roux, stirring constantly with a wire whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Cook over medium heat until your sauce thickens. Season with salt and black pepper. (And don't forget to stir constantly!)
|Voila! You have made a Bechamel Sauce.|
Whisk the beer into the sauce until well combined. Let cook for a minute or two, letting the sauce thicken again slightly.
Pour the beer sauce into the larger stock pot with the cooked broccoli.
Gently stir until both mixtures have blended together completely. Let the soup simmer for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat so the flavors have a chance to. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese cubes. I like to serve this soup before the cheese has a chance to melt.
*Note: For those of you in Mexico, I used a bottle of Barrilito beer.