Broccoli Mimolette Soup Recipe

Soupe Broccoli Mimolette

[Broccoli Mimolette Soup]

This soup has to be the best broccoli soup I’ve ever had – and without a doubt the best one I’ve ever made. The really cool thing about it, besides being really really good, is that it is infused with flavor from two ingredients that usually get thrown out without batting an eyelash : the rind from a firm and sharp cheese, and the stems from a bunch of fresh herbs.

From now on I vow to always throw these in the freezer for later use : the flavor of cheese is very concentrated in the rind, and the stems of herbs are no less fragrant than the leaves, but they usually get discarded because they don’t look too nice as a garnish.

Having read in a few places about the use of these poor disaffectioned ingredients in soups (and you know how I feel about poor disaffectioned ingredients), I had frozen the stems from a bunch of parsley a little while ago, as well as the rind of a large hunk of mimolette extra-vieille. Mimolette is a bright orange cheese from the North of France, called “extra-old” when aged for a long time until brittle and very sharp. In its young and unaged version, mimolette has a more mellow flavor but is also excellent : it’s a favorite among French kids, its cheerful color playing a big part I’m sure. Some say it was also Charles de Gaulle‘s preferred choice of cheese (and I mean the President, not the airport).

Note that any other type of herb would work in place of the parsley, and you can use another type of cheese too (or even several), as long as it’s a firm cheese (fromage à pâte ferme), with a strong and sharp flavor – parmesan would be a great substitution, for instance.

Soupe Broccoli Mimolette

– one onion
– one shallot
– one clove of garlic
– two heads of broccoli
– one cube of bouillon
– 50 g of rind from a hunk of mimolette extra-vieille (substitute the rind from a hunk of parmesan or another firm and sharp cheese)
– a bunch of parsley stems
– a Tbsp of crème fraîche
– olive oil
– salt, pepper
– [optional] piment d’Espelette (substitute red pepper flakes)

(Serves 4.)

Peel and chop the onion, the shallot and the garlic clove. Heat up a little olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, shallot and garlic over medium heat until softened.

Wash and chop the broccoli. Add it into the saucepan, along with the cheese rind, the cube of bouillon and the parsley stems. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and piment d’Espelette. Add about three to four cups of water, to cover about halfway up the broccoli. (If you’re not sure, it is better to add less water now, and adjust when the soup is ready, than the other way around…)

Bring to a small boil and let the soup simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until the broccoli is softened.

Remove the cheese rind and the parsley stems from the soup, and use a blender or a fork to puree the soup to the desired chunkiness. Adjust the seasoning, stir in the crème fraîche and serve.

  • This looks fantastic, Clotilde. I must try it — with a tomato-based soup, too.

  • Sound delicious! Didn’t know that cheese rind is used in France too. In Italy parmesan rind, scraped, are often used to flavour stock and soups. If cooked long enough (as when making stock) it becomes spongy and slightly rubbery (in a pleasant way) and tastes great. Me and my brother’s used to fight over them. Ah nice memories :-).

  • I also just thought, Clotilde, that this would also be nice with the rind from a good bit of ham left to infuse it as well.

  • I wanted so much to do the crepes you posted yesterday but the soup is much more compatible with an overactive 10 month old girl crawling around the floor. I can’t wait to make this for our dinner tonight.

  • What a great use for those herb stems. Yesterday I threw away some parsley stems after stirring the leaves into a garlic sauce for pasta. Next time I’ll throw them in a freezer.

  • I just read about mimolette in Saveur and it looked so tempting. Your yummy-sounding recipe clinches the deal — I’ll be on the lookout for mimolette just so I can try it!

  • I’ve used a Parmiggiano rind to flavor minestrone. Tres yummy. In fact, the minestrone recipe I like the best uses just water and cheese rind as the base (of course, all those veggies get cooked in it as well).

  • Jackie – Tomato and ham, these are excellent ideas!

    Alberto – Oh darn, I threw my softened spongy rinds away, without even tasting them! Next time I’ll know to keep them as an odd treat…

    Dave – Hope you liked it! And about the crepes : with a ten-month old cutie, you are automatically given a wide margin of variation around Mardi-Gras to make them!

    Karen – Yes, I don’t even want to think of the amount of herb stems I’ve throw away since I cook!

    Ladygoat – I’m sure you’ll love mimolette! And the color is just so beautiful too!

    Derrick – I’ve never made minestrone… Would you share the general idea of your favorite recipe?

  • puja

    Hi Clotilde,
    Have recently started visiting your blog and now i seem to want to come back every day:) will surely try the Broccoli soup today….Just a warning you might be regularly requested to explain the ingredients/suggest substitutes as some of them might not be available here in India.

  • Meg

    I make a similar soup using a combination of stilton and sharp cheddar cheese – it’s also great! Stilton and (good) cheddar are not very easy to find in Paris but if you are ever interested, I can direct you to a couple of shops.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Puja – All questions are welcome, fire away! And I’m sure we can work together and find acceptable substitutions and twists!

    Meg – Oh yes, by all means, do share your good British cheese sources, I’m all ears!

  • I made this last night, out of the blue. I’d been wanting to try it… The flavor came out quite well, and I was happy about the quantity of soup because I live alone and soups keep well so this is great to keep int he fridge a few days.. I was dissipointed with the texture but I’m 99% sure its because I don’t have a blender or food processor. I tried to do the fork thing, and just break it up, but it didn’t quite get the thickness/smoothness and stayed fairly seperate from the broth. The creme fraiche helped quite alot int he flavor, too. It really needed that tang.

    Anyway, just sharing my expirience. I’d like to give it another go, especially with a food processor.

  • Meg

    It’s nice to feel useful!

    The place I know for stilton is in the 17th:

    Fromagerie Dubois et Fils
    (01 42 27 11 38)

    For cheddar, I usually go to Galeries Lafayette Gourmand, but lately they have been letting me down. A colleague tells me that there is a cheese shop in the rue Cler that has very good cheddar. I’ll ask him for the address.

    Otherwise, one place I have been meaning to try is in your arrondisement – maybe you have already tried it?

    Saveurs d’Irlande
    139 r Ordener 75018 Paris (01 42 55 10 31)

    I called them when I was looking for haggis (they don’t have it) and they said they have Irish and Scottish cheddars and stilton.

  • Chloe

    I made this soup yesterday and it was a complete success, especially with Paloma, my 1 year old daughter, who ate almost half the pot!!
    I replaced the mimollet with parmesan and the parsley stems with watercress!!
    Reading some of your past blogs, I fell on the one about home made yoghurt. I then realised I also had one, right in that cupboard where I keep my heart-shaped waffle-maker and the juicer!!
    The yogurt is in the process of fermenting right now, so tomorow for breakfast: Fresh yogurt and hemp granola!! ( the hemp granola really is delicious!!
    Thank you for all this inspiration!!

  • Caroline – I’m sure soup texture is a very personal thing! I like chunky soup, and my broccoli was rather soft (probably even a little overcooked), so the fork thing worked well for me… But I’m contemplating buying a hand blender anyway!

    Meg – Thanks a lot for the cheese recommendations! I haven’t been to the Saveurs d’Irlande store, but I’ve noticed it because it is right by my sister’s new apartment. I must go check it out! Other than these addresses, I know that Rose Bakery (in the rue des Martyrs, review in “The Restaurant Scene” categorie) sells some British cheese, but I’ve never bought any from them…

    Chloe – Mmm, parmesan and watercress, very nice pairing! I’m happy to have taken part in the rehabilitation of your yogurt machine, and I love your daughter’s name. Paloma. Beautiful.

  • Bee

    instead of buillon,can i use chichen or veal stock?How much stock?

    What brand -buillon do you use?

  • Bee – You can use chicken or veal stock in place of bouillon, just use the same amount.

  • Such a great idea and such a good soupe! So delicious with a marvelous taste of brocoli. Thanks a lot for the recipe.

  • famdoz

    Ths is the best broccoli soup ive made: really flavoursome and thick, yet not too much cream. It’s already a winter staple of 2006 in our household!

  • Kimberly

    Tried this last night and was impressed with how well it turned out, and was in fact delicious (used homemade chicken broth). Also removed cheese rind as instructed (used parmesan and pecorino – not excactly a rind on pecorino though) and cubed in small piece and added it back after pureed soup in Cuisinart. Also used a splash of half-n-half (hard to find crème fraîche in North Carolina). Thanks for the fabulous recipe. Considering trying this recipe with cauliflower instead of brocolli? No idea how that will turn out…..

  • Courtney

    Do you tie together the herb stems before throwing them in the soup pot, or are they that easy to fish out after cooking? This soup looks to be something my family will enjoy greatly and am quite anxious to make it!


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