5-6 ounces of whole wheat bread, torn into 1-inch pieces, roughly 3 cups total
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped*
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 large head of broccoli (12 ounces or 3/4 lb.), cut into small florets
2/3 cup freshly grated Cheddar, plus more for topping
1 - 3 teaspoons brown mustard, to taste
smoked paprika, more olive oil (optional)
Melt the butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallots, onion, and a big pinch of salt. Saute for a couple minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cover, and cook for about four minutes, just long enough for them to soften up a bit. Uncover, stir in the garlic, then the broth. Bring to a boil. Once potatoes are tender, stir in the broccoli. Cover and simmer until the broccoli is tender, 2 - 4 minutes.
Remove the soup from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Add half the cheddar cheese and the mustard (a little bit a a time), as well as more water or broth if the soup is too thick.
Serve sprinkled with croutons, the remaining cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and a tiny pinch of smoked paprika.
Serves 4 - 6
Note: I substituted a large leek for both the shallots and the onion, and it worked quite well.