Cream of Broccoli Soup

Preparation time: 45 minutes. Serves: 8 

1 1/2 pounds of broccoli, washed and cut into small pieces (save florets for later). Much of the
broccoli stalks can be peeled and diced or sliced
4 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups scalded milk or cream
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups water from cooking broccoli
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Cheddar cheese, shredded, for garnish (freshly shredded makes a difference) and or a piece of
cooked broccoli

In a sauce pan, combine broccoli, water and salt.  Cook until tender; when done, reserve 1 1/2 cups water for the soup.

Make a white sauce as follows:
Heat milk in a double boiler to just below its boiling point.  Melt butter in soup pot and add flour, cooking over low heat for a few minutes (be careful not to burn).  Add hot milk slowly, stirring constantly.  Sprinkin in 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook and stir until thickened.   Next, add liquid from the broccoli along with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and the white pepper.  Stir well and add the tender cooked broccoli and the florets.   Let sit a few minutes so florets cook, then ladle broccoli soup into soup bowls and garnish with shredded cheddar cheese or a cooked broccoli floret.

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