Recipes and Suggestions
SMOKED BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
4 cups of broth ( low sodium or chicken broth)
6 cups of Broccoli crowns
½ small onion
1 pound (2 cups) fresh ricotta
1 ½ cup of cheddar cheese ( white preferred)
Freshly ground pepper
1 smoked pork bone (cleaned of all meat)
Cooking Method Number 1
(Moderate Smoke Flavor)
--In a large skillet or pan, pour in the broth and add the pork bone. Dice the onion into thin slices and add to the pan. Bring the stock to a boil. Trim the base of the Broccoli crowns and add them to the pan, if need be cut the crowns in half ( do not dice them). Cover the skillet or pan and cook over moderate heat until the Broccoli crowns soften ( 5 to 7 minutes).
--Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion and Broccoli crowns to a blender or food processor. Remove the bone from the broth.
Then return the puree to the skillet or pan, slowly stir in the Ricotta cheese to the mixture. Over low heat cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
--Then put the cheddar cheese into the food processor and grind into fine pieces. Slowly add the cheese to the mixture. Constantly stir to avoid any clumping of the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook over low heat. Reserve some of the cheddar cheese to garnish the top of the soup.
--To increase the amount of smoke flavor to the mixture place the soup in a covered dish and store in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Only add to the mixture ½ cup of the cheddar cheese in the steps above. Once you reheat the soup( moderate heat), add the remaining ½ cup of the cheddar cheese.
--Ladle the soup in shallow bowls and garnish the top with cheddar cheese.
Cooking Method Number 2
(Heavier Smoke Flavor)
--Place the Broccoli crowns in an aluminum dish ( lasagna dish size works fine). Pour about a cup and ½ of water in the pan and place the pan in the smoker. If you want a strong smoke flavor then use Red or White Oak less smoke use a Sugar Maple. If the temperature of the smoker is under 200 degrees F leave on for about an hour; if over reduce the time to around 45 minutes.
--Follow the same instruct as above but eliminate the pork bone.