Emeril Lagothy...

I outdid myself this Sunday. It was the usual Stately Sad Old Goth Manor soup making orgy... this week - potato broccoli cheese!
Here's the recipe if you want to give it a whirl:
6 or 7 medium potatoes (I used Eastern potatoes, but any will do. The potatoes I used were a little smaller than a fist, so adjust the number accordingly to size).
a small yellow onion
a good sized head of broccoli
32.oz organic vegetable broth
1 pint whole milk
1/4 pint heavy cream
1 good sized block of very sharp white cheddar cheese (I have no idea how much mine weighed... it was about the size of a half pound of butter, if that helps...)
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of unbleached flour
fresh rosemary (chopped up leaves only, the stems are a bitch to chew)
fresh sage (strip the leaves off the stems)
fresh oregano, chopped
freshly ground black pepper

Pour the vegetable broth into a 6 quart soup pot with lid
Peel and chop the potatoes into thumb sized pieces, add to broth
Peel and dice the onion, add to pot.
Add a pinch of salt and grind in some fresh pepper, cover and bring to a boil.
When it boils, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until you can pierce the potatoes with a fork.
While the potatoes and onions are cooking, start to scald the milk in a small sauce pan.
In a small saute pan, slowly melt the butter (very low heat) and stir in the flour for a rue.
While all this is going on, cut the broccoli trees from the thick stems and finely chop the trees. It's going to look like a lot of broccoli, but it's not.
With your third set of hands, coarsly grate the cheddar cheese.
(Emeril Lagothy's kitchen hint - put the cheese into the freezer for about a half hour or so before you grate it; it will grate easier and not fall apart in your hand).
When the potatoes are done, slide the pot off the heat and just lightly mash the potatoes - don't get gay with the potato masher, you want some small chunks in there...
Add the finely chopped broccoli now.
Slide the pot back over the heat and stir in the rue. Bring it back to a boil, while stirring constantly and when it boils, turn down the heat to a simmer and slowly stir in the hot milk. When thoroughly stirred in, add the spices and cover. Simmer for about a quarter hour, stirring every once in a while, so you don't get bored. Slowly stir in the heavy cream and the grated sharp cheese, add another good shot of ground pepper, cover and simmer another half hour, stirring every now and then.
*keep the flame at an absolute minimum to maintain a simmer - stir often, the cream and the cheese will want to burn on the bottom...
Stir well before serving, as the heavy cream will want to rise to the top. Add a dash of pepper to the top and some toasted bread crumbs, and prepare for an orgasm of the stomach!
Oh, yeah... save the broccoli stems. You can peel them, slice them and steam them for a snack later in the week, or use them to make more vegetable broth. The steamed stems, chopped, make a nice addition to kitty's dinner as well...
Waste not, want not...
good eating!
pearls before swine...


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