Sunday, January 30, 2011


Cook's Illustrated


Serves 6 to 8. Published March 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.

To make a vegetarian version of this soup, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

2tablespoons unsalted butter
2pounds broccoli , florets roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1medium onion , roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2teaspoons dry mustard powder
pinch cayenne pepper
Table salt
3–4cups water
1/4teaspoon baking soda
2cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
2ounces baby spinach (2 loosely packed cups)
3ounces sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (3/4 cup)
1 1/2ounces Parmesan cheese , grated fine (about 3/4 cup), plus extra for serving
Ground black pepper


  1. 1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.

  2. 2. Add broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium-high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to Dutch oven, place over medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust consistency of soup with up to 1 cup water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.

America's Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen is a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside of Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated magazines and is the workday destination for more than three dozen test cooks, editors, and cookware specialists. Our mission is to test recipes until we understand how and why they work and arrive at the best version. We also test kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. You can watch us work by tuning in to America’s Test Kitchen ( on public television.

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