Growing up in Pennsylvania, May was my favorite month. Not only is it my birth month, but it was always the month of change. The change from gray to blue. From 40 degree weather to 70 degree weather. It was the first time after those hard winter months where the sun rose early, and you could get out of bed and not need to turn on the heat or put on a heavy fleece. It was the time of year where all you wanted to do was be outside, stay up late, take a walk, eat dinner on the patio. Once I moved to Oregon, I soon realized that those May images were not true to the Pacific Northwest. And just like it does each year I’ve lived in this state, it rains on my birthday. I’ve finally come to adjust and adapt to this change. But June. No, this is the month when things change. Oregonians have been waiting for those few glorious months to bask in 80 degree, crisp, clear days, with not a drop of rain, but vivid color from all the rain we endured for the past nine months.
Except the first few days of June haven’t been anything like those May images in my memory.
Everyday, this is the view I get from our deck door. Rain. Day after day. I’ve found myself writing the date with a 4 instead of a 6. I have to keep reminding myself of the date, but it’s been tough. The last day of school is next week? I’m planning for the second phase of summer items at work? And in my bafflement, I mentioned this to someone I know, and she said, “well, of course it’s raining. It’s June!” Have I been living in a bubble where people have been shouting these things at me and I’ve only been hearing creepy elevator music?
So last week, in my decision to make salad, realized, “why do I want to make cold salad on a rainy day in June?”
So I made soup. In June.
I found this recipe in Quinoa 365 which has just about everything from salads and soups, to baked goods and breakfast made with quinoa. I tried this Broccoli Cheese soup, and it was perfect for a rainy day in June. Light enough to have on a warmish day, and not too overpowering with cream or cheese. So if this summer brings you a rainy day, and you aren’t feeling the salad, or deal with your grill getting wet, maybe this is the answer.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Adapted from Quinoa 365
5 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup quinoa (uncooked)
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
3/4 cup half and half
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook Cheddar) plus extra for topping
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 8 minutes or so.
2. Add the broccoli, quinoa and stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until quinoa is tender.
3. Puree the cooked mixture with a hand blender or cool slightly and puree in two batches in a blender or food processor.
4. Return the soup to the saucepan (if not using a hand blender) and add the cream, keeping heat on low until soup begins to thicken slightly. Add cheese, salt and pepper, and season to taste. Serve with cheese topping.