Cheese, Broccoli & Red Pepper Chowder

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb broccoli (about 1 small head)
  • 1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1 cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into ½" pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups Extra Old or 4-Year Cheddar, grated

Preparation:

  • Cut the broccoli up into 1" florets.  Peel the stem and finely chop, discarding the tough lower part of the stem.
  • Cook only the florets in salted water until just tender (approximately 2-3 minutes).  Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the broccoli from cooking further, then drain.  Reserve 3 cups of the water that the broccoli was cooked in.
  • Cook the potato cubes, pepper, broccoli stems and garlic in butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft (approximately 8-10 minutes).
  • Stir in the cumin, salt, pepper and mustard, cook for another minute. Mix in the flour, cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the reserved water from the broccoli and simmer, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender (approximately 10 minutes).  Stir in the cream and cheese, cook until the cheese in melted then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a blender, purée 2 cups of the chowder then return to the pot.  Add the broccoli florets and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until heated through (approximately 2 minutes).