Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Cheese Crostini

Serves 6.

For the Soup

Ingredients

splash of olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1 large head broccoli including the stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups or more chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream, optional

Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the broccoli, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes more.
  3. Add the stock, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and puree.  If the soup is too thick, add stock by the ¼ cup until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. When ready to serve, heat the soup with the heavy cream.  Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. The soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for longer storage.

For the Cheddar Cheese Crostini

Ingredients

6 slices baguette or sour dough bread
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Instructions
  1. Toast the bread in the oven until just golden.
  2. Divide the grated cheese among the toasts and melt in the oven.  Serve with the soup.
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