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January 5, 2012

Broccoli cheddar soup for January

One of the only things left in the garden out back is (actually, was) broccoli. A whole row. Beautiful little crowns. Barely any aphids. To celebrate my first successful broccoli harvest, I wanted to make something pure broccoli. I nearly made Heidi’s Double Broccoli Quinoa (which is very very delicious and I highly recommend it), but once I’d washed and dried and weeded out the very flowering parts of my crop, there wasn’t really enough for broccoli pesto and broccoli in the dish. So plan B… a yummy broccoli soup. Even though it’s be 80 degrees in LA for the past few days. Ugh, winter! I was just settling into you.

This is a combination of Heidi’s broccoli soup and one I found on Epicurious. It turned out rather deliciously, as evidenced by the pitiful little bit left in the fridge this morning. Apologies that there isn’t a better photo of the steamy bowl covered in croutons and cheese. Just imagine it, pls.

And it’s super simple! The most complicated part: whether to use my new immersion blender or my new Vitamix. My life is so hard sometimes. (Immersion blender won in this case, fyi. They are so handy!)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup for January


3-ish cups torn rustic bread
a few T olive oil
1 T whole grain mustard
sea salt


3 T butter
3 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced

a few springs each of fresh tarragon and thyme, minced or torn or however you like to do it
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
4 cups water or homemade veg stock
4-5 cups broccoli florets and stems, in smallish pieces (maybe more, if you happen to have extra)

1/4 c cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (plus more for garnish)
1 T whole grain mustard

sea salt
black pepper

Prep the croutons: whisk whole grain mustard with olive oil and salt, then pour over torn bread in a small bowl until well coated. These only take 10-15 minutes, so you can roast them now at 350°, or wait until you’re ready to serve.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and butter, then add onions, shallots, and a bit of sea salt and black pepper. Saute until soft and yummy smelling. Add garlic, thyme, and tarragon if you have it. Saute a few more minutes until the flavors have mixed. Add potatoes and toss around until well coated and just starting to soften. Add water or stock, and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if you like. You know how salty you like your food! (Salty, if you’re moi.) Add broccoli and cook for a few more minutes until just tender, again. Now remove from heat, add cream, a bit more salt if necessary, and stir.

Using an immersion blender (bonus!) or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth, adding the cheddar cheese and mustard as you go. (Make sure you do this while the soup is still hot so the cheese has a chance to really mix with the rest of the soup. If it’s slightly chunky, I think that would be delicious too.

If you’re not ready to eat it, as I’m normally not since I tend to start dinner around 4 and then leave it until Dashiell is in bed at 7, let it rest and reheat it when you’re ready to eat. Dress with a handful of croutons and a bit of cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper.

It’s really quick and really yummy. My one addition would maybe be like twice the amount of broccoli so it’s REALLY broccoli flavored. But alas that was all I had, so I just went with it. Also, I might just double the entire recipe because we managed to eat nearly all of this in one sitting last night. And leftovers mean no one (ahem, me) has to cook the next night.


  1. lesley graham said on January 5, 2012

    um, this would be perfect tonight. it’s so cold in atlanta! thanks for sharing this. it used to be my jam at panera. :)

  2. blake said on January 5, 2012

    gosh, perfection. I could SO go for a bowl of that right this minute. I suppose tomorrow will do.

  3. Lauren McP said on January 5, 2012

    Cannot WAIT to try this on the weekend. This is one of my fave soups, and I like the words ‘quick’ and ‘yummy’ when it comes to cooking :)

  4. Jen said on January 18, 2012

    I’ve now made this twice since reading your posting. The pictures of the broccoli totally won me over. So great.

    I amped up the garlic and broccoli for my version. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Brooke said on January 23, 2012

    Yum! Doubled the recipe tonight and it made SO MUCH soup! I’ll probably stick with a single batch next time! Also amped up the broccoli (~15c) and subbed a sour cream/soy milk mixture since we can’t do heavy cream and that was all I had on hand. Next time I might try mascarpone instead. Either way, once I added enough salt, it was super tasty! And much lighter than most creamy broccoli soups, so I don’t feel sick to my stomach afterwards: bonus! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Brooke said on January 25, 2012

    OMG, I take back my thoughts on not making a double batch. It’s SO MUCH BETTER after it’s had a day or two to sit. It’s fab the first day, but WOW on round 2 and 3!

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