1 medium-large Yukon Gold potato
1 large onion (sweet is best, but apparently they're not in season. Yellow was good)
3 broccoli stalks
~3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 broccoli heads
2 qt water
a few cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth, or just save the water from the cooking the broccoli heads, water, or any combination of the above)
2-3 bay leaves
salt and pepper
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup cream (or soy milk, or coconut milk, or just plain milk)
LOTS of shredded cheddar cheese
*If you're making it vegan, add a couple of tablespoons flour along with the liquids to make it thicker.
Im going to guess a couple stalks of celery and/or chopped celery root would be good
ooh! or! I read in a recipe once the suggestion to use cauliflower and guillere cheese instead... mmm
Peel and cube the potato, onion, and the broccoli stalks. The potato will be easiest, but the onion and broccoli aren't all that complicated. Just make sure you peel them both, first, and try to make your cubes roughly the same size. And don't skip the broccoli stalks. They really make the soup.
Cut the broccoli heads into florets and boil the water. Throw in the broccoli heads and cook them for 2-3 minutes. They should be softer, but really shouldn't be cooked for too long. When they are done, use a slotted spoon (or something like it) to take out the florets, keeping the water! The less water used the more concentrated the flavor in the water.
Sautee the cubed veggies in a large pot with margarine, butter, or olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring to keep the bottoms from burning. Add the garlic about half way through (garlic burns easier than onion. thanks Mirna!). Once they start to look softened and smell delicious, add the bay leaves, some salt, your liquid (broth, water, broccoli water), the marjoram (I really don't think you can add too much marjoram), and mustard. Simmer until the veggie cubes are fully cooked, and even a little longer if you'd like, adding more liquid if it starts getting too thick.
Add the cooked florets and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Remove Bay Leaves and puree the entire mixture, leaving chunks only if you prefer it that way.
Return to a very low heat and stir in the cream. salt, pepper, etc. to taste.
Only add the cheese right before serving (and I would suggest adding it to each bowl individually so as not to have left overs with cheese already mixed in). This is for two reasons; most importantly, the cheese will become tough if it gets over heated or boils in the soup. Secondly, cheese just seems to retain more of its flavor when it is just barely melted.
As with most soups, this is even better a day or two later.