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Smoked Broccoli Soup with Crispy Fried Panko Crusted Cheddar, Prosciutto and Leeks


smoked broccoli soup with panko fried cheddar cheese sticks and crispy prosciutto and leeks

This recipe is a twist on the classic broccoli cheddar soup. If you’ve ever had a good broccoli cheddar soup, you know that it’s rich and creamy and a pure comfort food dish. I’m also happy to report that this recipe can be made completely vegetarian, if you omit the crispy prosciutto on top. I don’t often make vegetarian dishes, but when I do, I want it to be something that even meat eaters will enjoy, and this soup recipe is definitely one anyone and everyone will enjoy.


The soup is actually quite simple to make. Start by roughly chopping up your broccoli and placing it in a cast iron pan and then in the Alchemy smoker. I also cut the tops off of two heads of garlic and placed those in the smoker, too. Meanwhile, grill up an onion and leek on the plancha until nicely charred. You’re going to want to thinly slice some of the leek before throwing it on the grill and those will be used to make the crispy leeks that top the soup, so set them aside. You’ll also add a hot green chili pepper to the grill for a bit of heat. Then, melt some butter in a small cast iron pan on the plancha and squeeze in the juice from a lemon.


Once the broccoli is softened and has a good char, remove from the smoker and transfer it to the bowl of a blender, along with the grilled onion, leek and chili pepper. Make sure to squeeze out the smoked garlic into the blender, too. Add the melted butter and lemon juice, cream, salt and fresh basil to the blender and blend until smooth.


To make the toppings for the soup, add a few slices of prosciutto to the plancha and let them crisp up. In a pan, add in oil and once hot toss in the reserved sliced leeks. Once golden and crispy, remove from the oil, season with salt and set aside. But, the ultimate component of this dish is the panko-crusted cheddar cheese sticks. I took big chunks of old cheddar cheese and tossed them in flour, egg and panko and then fried them until golden brow and crispy. Instead of the cheese being incorporated into the soup or just sprinkled on top, these cheesy, crispy, gooey cheddar cheese sticks are meant for dipping in that delicious smoked broccoli soup. Top it all off with that crispy prosciutto and fried leeks and you have one insane bowl of soup. To find out how to make my Smoked Broccoli Soup with Crispy Fried Panko Crusted Cheddar, Prosciutto and Leeks keep reading, or jump to the full recipe.


chopped broccoli in a cast iron pan being added to the smoker with whole heads of garlic

Set the Alchemy smoker to 375F. Roughly chop your broccoli and place in a cast iron pan, drizzle with canola oil and put in the smoker. Cut the tops off of the two heads of garlic and place in the smoker, cook for about 25-30 minutes or until softened and charred.


onion and leek grilling on the plancha

Meanwhile, cut your onion in half. Using the white part only of the leek, finely chop about 1/4 of the stalk and set aside. Place the rest of the leek and the onion on the plancha and drizzle with oil, cook until softened.


fresh lemon juice being squeezed into melted butter in a cast iron pan on the plancha

Melt your butter in a cast iron pan on the plancha and once melted, squeeze in the juice from one lemon.


chopped leeks being added to hot oil to fry

Add oil to a pan on the plancha. Once hot, add in the chopped leeks.


golden fried leeks being taken out of the oil

Cook the leeks, stirring often until golden. Remove and season with salt, set aside.


a hot chili pepper being added to the plancha to grill

Chop your chili pepper and place on the plancha. Chop your fresh basil and set aside.


the smoked garlic being squeezed into the pan with the smoked broccoli and grilled onion and leek

Remove the broccoli from the smoker, squeeze out the garlic into the pan.


cream being poured into the bowl of a blender that is filled with the smoked broccoli, grilled onion and leek, melted butter and lemon juice, salt and fresh basil

Add your broccoli, garlic, onion, leek, chili pepper and basil to the bowl of a blender. Add in the melted butter with lemon, cream and salt. Blend until smooth.


prosciutto crisping up on the hot plancha

Add your prosciutto to the plancha and allow to crisp up, 1-2 minutes.


a big piece of cheddar cheese covered in egg wash and panko in a bowl of panko to get a thick crust

Cut two large pieces of cheddar cheese. In separate bowls, add flour to one, three eggs beaten with water to the second one and panko breadcrumbs to the third one. Toss the cheese in the flour, then egg mixture, then panko. Repeat between the egg and panko until there is a thick coating.


the panko crusted cheese frying in oil and turning golden brown

Add the breaded cheese to the pan of hot oil and fry, turning occasionally until golden brown.


a bowl filled with the smoked broccoli soup and topped with crispy prosciutto and being sprinkled with crispy fried leeks

To plate, transfer the soup into a bowl. Season with pepper. Add the crispy prosciutto and leeks on top.


a crispy panko fried cheddar cheese stick being dipped into the smoked broccoli soup

Serve with a panko-crusted cheese stick for dipping.


And now for the full recipe...


Smoked Broccoli Soup with Crispy Fried Panko Crusted Cheddar, Prosciutto and Leeks

Serves 2-3 people

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


Ingredients:

2-3 large heads broccoli

2 heads garlic

1 small Spanish onion

1 leek

1 lemon

Salt

Pepper

3 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

473ml Whipping cream

½ cup butter

3 eggs + 1/4 cup water

280g Balderson Old cheddar cheese

1 hot chili pepper

4 slices prosciutto

1 1/2 - 2 cup Flour

2 cups panko

Canola oil for frying


How to make Smoked Broccoli Soup with Crispy Fried Panko Crusted Cheddar, Crispy Prosciutto and Leeks


Set smoker to 375F.


Roughly chop your broccoli and place in a cast iron pan, drizzle with canola oil and put in the smoker. Cut the tops off of the two heads of garlic and place in the smoker, cook for about 25-30 minutes or until softened and charred.


Meanwhile, cut your onion in half. Using the white part only of the leek, finely chop about 1/4 of the stalk and set aside. Place the rest of the leek and the onion on the plancha and drizzle with oil, cook until softened.


Melt your butter in a cast iron pan on the plancha and once melted, squeeze in the juice from one lemon.


Add oil to a pan on the plancha. Once hot, add in the chopped leeks and cook, stirring often until golden. Remove and season with salt, set aside.


Chop your chili pepper and place on the plancha. Chop your fresh basil and set aside.


Remove the broccoli from the smoker, squeeze out the garlic into the pan. Add your onion, leek, chili pepper and chopped basil to the broccoli then transfer it all to the bowl of a blender. Add in the melted butter with lemon, cream and salt. Blend until smooth.


Add your prosciutto to the plancha and allow to crisp up, 1-2 minutes.


Cut two large pieces of cheddar cheese. In separate bowls, add flour to the first one, then three eggs beaten with water to the second and panko breadcrumbs to the third one. Toss the cheese in the flour, then egg mixture, then panko. Repeat between the egg and panko until there is a thick coating. Add the breaded cheese to the pan of hot oil and fry, turning occasionally until golden brown.


To plate, transfer the soup into a bowl. Season with pepper. Add the crispy prosciutto and leeks on top and serve with a panko-crusted cheese stick.


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Matt Basile

MEET THE CHEF

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Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!

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