Aroostook Potato and Broccoli SoupPhoto Credit : Katherine Keenan
Aroostook County in Maine is potato country, and for generations the local cooks have devised ingenious ways to use their fine spuds. Potato and broccoli soup is one popular way. Use Maine potatoes, cheddar from Vermont, and broccoli from a local farm to make this brawny soup into an all-star New England supper. Garnish with more coarsely grated cheddar and serve with brown bread.
6 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 cups broccoli florets and thinly sliced stems
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
2 cups grated Vermont cheddar cheese
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Garnish: coarsely grated cheddar cheese
Put potatoes in a 4- to 5-quart heavy-bottomed pot and cover with water. Set the pot on the stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes.
When done, drain potatoes. Mash half the potatoes; set aside both the mashed and chunks of potatoes.
Put the broccoli in the soup pot and add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until broccoli is tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the broccoli/broth mixture and the chunks of potatoes. Return the puree to the soup pot, set over medium heat, and stir in the mashed potatoes and milk; let warm for 2 minutes.
Stir in the cheddar, and when it’s well blended, about 3 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with additional grated cheddar.