Recipes: Broccoli Cheese Soup, French Bread

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Source: www.foodnetwork.com

  • Prep 10 Min
  • Cook 35 Min
  • Total 45 Min
  • Serving: 10

Ingredients

  • 4 heads broccoli cut into 1-inch florets
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 whole onion diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3 cups grated cheese (mild Cheddar sharp Cheddar, Jack, etc.), plus more for garnish, optional
  • 1 cup chicken broth optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove 2 cups of the broccoli florets, cut in half, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet cut-side down and bake until the florets begin to crisp and turn slightly brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top. Stir to combine and cook until the flour is absorbed and smells lightly toasted, 1 minute or so. Add the milk and half-and half. Add the nutmeg, then the broccoli, a small dash of salt and plenty of black pepper. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the broccoli is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the cheese and allow to melt.

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve the soup as is, mash with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender in two batches and puree completely. (If you puree in a blender, return the soup to the heat to heat back up. Splash in some chicken broth if needed for thinning.) Garnish with the toasted broccoli or grated cheese and serve.

French Bread

Source: allrecipes.com

  • Prep 25 Min
  • Cook 40 Min
  • Total 2 Hr 40 Min
  • Yield: 2 large loaves

Serving: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.

Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.

With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.

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