Broccoli, Red Pepper, & Cheddar Chowder
- 1 small head broccoli
- 1 large boiling potato
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- l large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 oz sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
- Discard tough lower third of broccoli stem. Peel remaining stem and finely chop. Cut remaining broccoli into very small (1-inch) florets. Cook florets in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, then drain. Reserve 3 cups cooking water for chowder.
- Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook potato, bell pepper, onion, broccoli stems, and garlic in butter in a 3-4 quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add cumin, salt, pepper, and mustard and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add reserved cooking water and simmer, partially covered. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender.
- Stir in cream and cheese and stir constantly until cheese is melted, then season with salt and pepper.
- Purée about 2 cups of chowder in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pot. Add florets and cook over moderate heat until heated throughly, about 2 minutes.