Adapted from epicurious.com.
This is a reduced-fat adaptation from the original. If you like to cook with cream, then by all means go for it. If not, this made a creamy, yummy soup and you won't miss the fat.
Serves 6-8. At 6 servings, kcals: 292 and dietary fiber: 5 g.
2 tbs olive oil
2 lbs fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 large potato, 1/2" cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried (I didn't have any)
6 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used 4 cups and 2.5 cups water)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tbs dijon mustard (or to taste)
1 cup (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
S&P to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
In heavy medium pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil, broccoli stems, potato and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. If you like your soup smooth vs. chunky, now is the time to break out the immersion blender (or use a counter top blender or food processor following the usual precautions associated with blending hot liquids).
In a separate pot, bring skim milk to a boil and add flour; whisk until smooth and thickened. Turn down heat and add dijon and cheese; whisk until well combined and cheese is melted. Whisk cheese sauce into soup. Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 - 10 minutes. Season to taste with S&P and pepper flakes.
Alternatively, you can leave the cheese out of the sauce and sprinkle it over individual servings and then place under a broiler until golden brown and delicious. I would not recommend making this in a crock pot unless you have a tried and true method of doing so. My prior attempt at this recipe using the crock pot turned out...sub-optimal.