A warming soup, straight up there on my list of comfort foods. The first time I tasted this flavoursome Broccoli Cheddar soup was at Panera Bread, at Danbury in Connecticut. I super loved it, and naturally tried to make it once I was back in India. There are many recipes for this soup online, and several of them are Panera Bread copycat recipes. This is my version of this delicious soup, with fresh herbs and a little spice.
Origins and Etymology:
According to Wikipedia, the name Broccoli has been derived from the broccolo, which in Italian is “the flowering crest of a cabbage”, and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning “small nail” or “sprout”. It belongs to the same species as the cauliflower, which it resembles.
The Broccoli is known to have been bred in the northern Mediterranean region since about the 6th century BC, and considered a unique and valuable food in Italy at the time of the Roman Empire. There are references in the writings of Pliny the Elder and in the cookbook of Apicus, about a vegetable which was likely to have been the broccoli.
Wikipedia says that Broccoli was brought to England from Antwerp in the mid-18th century by Peter Scheemakers, a Flemish sculptor who worked predominantly in London. Broccoli was first introduced to the United States by Southern Italian immigrants, but did not become widely popular until the 1920s.
Health and Nutrition:
Broccoli is a nutritious power house, low in calories, rich in fibre and nutrients. High in vitamin K which helps absorb calcium and improves bone health, it is said that one cup of chopped broccoli can give more than the body’s required level of Vitamin K as well as Vitamin C for a day. Broccoli contains Vitamins A and E which contribute to skin health.
Broccoli is said to contain as much calcium in one ounce as from one ounce of milk. Regular consumption of broccoli with its high fibre content may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, some gastrointestinal disorders, and osteoporosis.
Studies are bringing out the possible effects of broccoli and its extracts, in reducing the risk of breast cancer, prostate, rectum and colon cancers, as well as cancer of the liver, the head and the neck.
With so much going for it nutrition wise, this Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a nourishing soup to add to your diet, and is easy to make too.
Fresh broccoli with a sharp cheddar cheese, flavoured with freshly ground pepper, nutmeg and paprika, basil, thyme and sage, garnished with mint leaves – an amazing meal on a chill or rainy day, with warm chunks of your favourite bread, to be dipped into the Broccoli Cheddar soup and savoured! This is a very filling soup and can serve it for lunch or dinner as a main item, along with bread.