Sunday, April 24, 2011

Recipe Week: Grandma B & Great-Granddad's Broccoli Soup

I love that my Mom and Grandpa get to spend a lot of time together just chatting, cooking, talking about books, watching baseball and being together.  They have developed a few standards they have together often that evolve over time.  The below is one of their more recent favorite collaborations as re-told by my Mom.  Sounds perfect for this rainy day.  

Broccoli Cheese Soup        

This is Great Granddad Dotter’s recipe…sort of. He is such an outstanding cook that he doesn’t need recipes. He looks at what he has available and then works his magic and something wonderful is brought to the table after a bit. 

His recipe would read like this: (Abbey's Note - if you like, say measurements, keep on reading as they are further down courtesy of my Mom translating for us mere amateurs.)

Steam some broccoli.
Make a white sauce. 
Add broth and milk.
Add a little cream of broccoli soup and some Kraft Old English Cheese 
Salt to taste.
Add some cream or half and half near the end.
Add the broccoli at the end.

There. Go crazy.
Here is the somewhat longer version for those of us who need a few numbers.

One nice head of fresh broccoli: wash, cut into florets and trim off any yucky looking places.
Steam this until just tender, not until it loses its color. Remove from heat and set aside but save the water for later.

White sauce:
3 T butter
3 T flour
1 C chicken broth
1 C milk
¼ C half and half or heavy cream
½ t salt
(Pepper if you like it. I don’t)
½ can cream of celery soup concentrate
1 jar of Kraft Old English Cheese Spread. (This is the secret ingredient. You can usually find it near the shelf that has the Velveeta cheese boxes at the grocery store.)

Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour and cook over low heat while it bubbles and cooks until it is a nice golden color.
Add the broth and milk and whisk together as it thickens.
Add salt and celery soup.
Whisk till smooth.
Add the cheese spread and whisk some more.
Swirl in the cream and then, if it is too thick add in a little of the reserved broccoli water.
   (See, I told you this would come in handy.)
Gently add the steamed and drained broccoli.

 Reading this reminded me of when Grandpa and I used to reverse engineer recipes we had in restaurants together. I thought it was a fun game, but most likely he was teaching me to cook and to think logically all at once.  It worked!

I am loving getting to spend time with both my Grandpa and my Mom this weekend.  I find my Grandpa is a great calm to me during this time of mourning.  So glad he's here.  Recipe Week(s) continues tomorrow with a recipe from Audra and more to follow!

Happy Easter to all -- you will not believe the stories we have amassed already for next week's reading enjoyment!

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