June 14, 2024

It always interests me how just one special element can make the difference between a dish that’s tastes just fine and one that people find amazing. It could be a seasoning — the touch of honey that can brighten up a lemon vinaigrette, for example — or maybe be a garnish (Imagine what a Caesar salad would be like without the garlicky crunch of croutons). And occasionally, it’s something that so transforms the result that it receives costar billing in the recipe name itself.

Be sure to reserve some shredded cheddar for a tasty garnish.

That last case certainly holds true for one of the most popular soups I know: broccoli cheddar. Yes, a puréed soup of fresh broccoli on its own can be excellent, especially if you make it with a rich, flavorful chicken stock or vegetable stock and an aromatic base of garlic and onion or leeks. But add cheese to the soup and something magical happens.

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