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Broccoli, Gruyère, and Chorizo Soup

This is a marvelous soup! It sports a bit of heat and lots of flavor from the chorizo, and a sharp nuttiness from the Gruyère, but what makes the soup really interesting is the addition of earthy fennel seeds. We fear our families may tire of eating this before we do, but they have no choice — we are somewhat obsessed!

Broccoli, Gruyère, and Chorizo Soup

1 tbs. yellow mustard seeds
1 tbs. fennel seeds
5 oz. Spanish chorizo, skin removed and cut into cubes (⅔ cup)
1 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
1½ lbs. broccoli, cut into florets (8 cups)
5 oz. Gruyère cheese (2 cups, loosely packed)
3 tbs. heavy cream

Dry-fry the seeds over a medium heat until the mustard seeds start to pop. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the seeds into a fine powder.

In a large saucepan, fry the chorizo (without any oil) for 4 minutes over a medium heat to release its oils, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the olive oil the pan and tip in the onions and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the ground seeds and stir for a further 1 minute, then add the broccoli and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and leave to simmer for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Blend the soup until completely smooth in a food processor or with a stick blender. Stir in two-thirds of the cheese and season to taste. Spoon into bowls or mugs and top with the remaining cheese and reserved chorizo.

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