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Broccoli Cheese Soup problem

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I made some broccoli cheese soup last night and the soup itself is kind of grainy.  I seem to have this problem when I make cheese sauces and was hoping maybe I could get some advice.  I realize you can't see it but I wonder if this is a product of me not making the roux correctly or if maybe I'm adding the cheese with it too hot and the cheese starts to separates?  Both times I have notice this I was using a sharp cheddar in my sauce. 

post #2 of 12

First, strain the white sauce before adding the cheese. Blanch the broccoli separately. A good sharp cheddar tends to break a sauce. I have no idea why. I used to serve a jalapeno cheese sauce with american and cheddar that broke every time until I stopped using cheddar. 

Try a different brand of cheddar. Increase the cream fat content in the sauce before adding cheese.

post #3 of 12

Disagree about adding fat. It's not fully bound in the starch IMHO so needs more starch. Then be careful of the heating so you don't break it with too much heat.

 

That said, the way I've come to make this soup is in a potato base that isn't perfectly smooth itself so any graininess from the cheese won't be noticed. Of course, with a potato base, there's no shortage of starch in the soup either.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 12

to answer the question on the cheddar. there are enzimes and coquagulants added to milk and milk fat to make cheddar. this is what seperates when melting cheddar.What I would suguest is boil your broccoli in a veg or chicken stock until the broccoli is tender and falls apart. next use some velveta or same product and heat in broccoli stock. I use a shredded orange rind munster to fortify the cheese taste. if you want a creamer taste, melt some cream cheese in the broth. If you need to thicken, use a slurry of buttermilk and flour. make sure you mix and let set the slurry to rehydrate the flour. this should cure your grainieness. please pardon the spelling as Im a retired chef, not a spelling teacher

post #5 of 12

its either the cheese or you are just cooking it at to high heat.   if it goes grainy after sitting then your hold temp is to hi.  

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well maybe my technique isn't correct as I have heard various opinions.  As for the cheese I have had this happen with both normal Kraft shredded cheddar in the bag and a good aged Vermont white cheddar when I was making mac and cheese once. 

 

First I blanch my broccoli and drain it but reserve some of the broccoli stock to start my roux. 

Then I sweat some garlic, onions, S&P, and a little chili flake.

Add my flour and cook it out a bit then add my broccoli stock to start my roux.

 

Here is where it gets confusing for me. I then add my milk to finish my cream sauce.  I've always heard that you need to bring your roux to a boil for it to reach full thickening power but on the flip side I've heard to not boil milk?
 

So here is what I do.  I add my milk and try and get it up to very light boil to thicken the sauce.  Once I get the consistency turn off the heat, add my cheese in, then broccoli and season to taste.

 

Pretty simple dish but it is really good.  If I can just get the grainy issue taken care of.   

post #7 of 12

Boiling milk can cause it to break and form fine grainy curds, but it doesn't happen instantly, you've got a little time.  Boiling a roux thickened soup/sauce will weaken the thickening. The longer you boil, the more it weakens. Roux and corn starch both achieve maximum thickness a bit before it boils but it's hard to hit precisely. So most recipes say to just bring it to a boil and then stop.  Corn starch thickening breaks down much faster at a boil than roux.

 

I still think you're short on starch.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #8 of 12

Try adding the cheese in 1/2 cubes and stir to incorporate don't whisk, after cheese is added hold at 160 to165 F , hope this helps.

post #9 of 12
If you use half and half and a 1 to 1 ratio of american and cheddar cheese it will be creamy. Always use low heat never go above med heat and should be fine
post #10 of 12

Cheddar is always the toughest addition to a roux, it really helps to soften it's arrival with a few tricks.   I always use a milk based roux when i want the sharpness of a cheddar cheese as it just seems to dissolve better. I also like to start the additions to the finished roux with a little american cheese because of the unique emulsifiers that come within the product. When i get to adding the cheddar i have it either shredded or sliced thinly and incorporate it slowly on medium heat. 

 

If that's not going to work for you, you can always cheat and add a little sodium citrate, cause that will  smooth out a bag of concrete. you just got to deal with the sour...

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jh331981 View Post

If you use half and half and a 1 to 1 ratio of american and cheddar cheese it will be creamy. Always use low heat never go above med heat and should be fine
Yeah this, and the ratio is super forgiving. This is a good point, everybody stands by traditional roux's for cheese sauces and emulsification'so but honestly I've never seen anything quicker, silkier, and generally better than just cream and cheese. Any cheese.
post #12 of 12

The better the cheese the more it will break down when kept to hot. Try making roux and blending in some cream cheese, this will help act as a stabilizer. Cook broc. separate(actually steam in a little water add that water when you make the roux.(mix in with milk) after bending all together try not to boil hold at about 140 degrees tops  in  a steam table.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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