“Broccoli and Cheese Soup” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table”

Maureen: It’s a new year, a new month and a new cookbook. This is the Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook that Anne gave me for Christmas. What do you think of this? I like it.

Andrew (13): Yes, it’s good.

Nicholas (9): It’s OK (unenthusiastically).


Tim: Is there cheddar in this?

Maureen: Yes, but very little. You’re only supposed to add 60 grams, but I used 80 grams, which still seemed very little to me.

Nicholas: You can hardly taste the cheddar.

Maureen: Since we all love broccoli and cheddar pizza, I thought we would all like this.

Tim: Yes, I really like it. It’s certainly a lot healthier than the other vegetable-cheddar soup you make.

Maureen: Are you talking about Potato-Ceddar Soup? That’s heresy to say there’s something better than that. You’re just weary of it because I first started making it 18 years ago. Would you like me to make this one again?

Tim: Yes.

Andrew: Yes.

Nicholas: No. I don’t like green soups.

Maureen: That’s crazy talk. Green is your favourite colour. How could you say you don’t like green soups?

Nicholas: I don’t like food that’s green. I like everything else that’s green.

Maureen: Well that goes a long way in explaining how you feel about salads…


“Broccoli and Cheese Soup” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table” by Gwyneth Paltrow
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly diced
  • 2 large stalks broccoli, cut into small florets (About 600g)
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 40g Watercress (or Rocket)
  • 30 – 60g Cheese, either Cheddar or Stilton. (We used Cheddar, and I used about 80g, which still seemed miserly to me.)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for just a minute, or until fragrant. Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes, or until bright green. Add the stock, salt & pepper, bring to the boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook for 8 minutes, or until the broccoli is just tender. Pour the soup into a blender and puree with the rocket until quite smooth. Be very careful when blending hot liquids. Start slowly and work in batches is necessary. Pour the soup back into the pan, stir in 30g of the cheese, taste and add more if you’d like. Serve with black pepper and a drizzle of your best olive oil.

Chef’s Notes: For vegans, you could easily omit the cheese and I think it would be just as good. I was dubious about adding the watercress, but it really lifted the soup. Also, the amount of stock indicated makes a very thick soup, which is just how we like it. But if you’d prefer a thinner version, just add more stock. Finally, we don’t have a blender, so I pureed it like I do all of my soups– with my handheld immersion blender, which always works a treat in these situations.
“Broccoli and Cheese Soup” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table”

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