Gather ingredients! I buy in bulk & freeze tons of veg, so forgive the appearance of the zucchini.
Remove broccoli heads & place heads ONLY in large pot with 1c water. Remove leaves & chop stems, discarding the bottom inch or so of the stem. Simmer over med heat until tender, appx 20 mins.
Peel the leaves off of the cauliflower & discard, remove heads, dice & set aside. There may be a better way to do do this, but this is my way. If you have a shortcut, share!
Chop zucchini pieces. Mine still have a little ice on them, since I decided to toss them in at the last minute.
Dice garlic & onions. Don't worry about it being too pretty, it mostly cooks down to nothing anyway. Pretend there's onion here too, since I didn't take a photo. Woopsie.
Sauté garlic & onion with appx 2 tbsp oil, or my preferred method - bacon fat! The key here is med-low heat. You want to slowly release that delicious aroma & taste. About 15 minutes should do it.
See? BACON FAT!
Fifteen minute mark. It smells so good.
This stuff saves my life when I don't have stock on hand. 2 tbsp to 1c water, viola. Chicken stock. (Comes in beef flavor, too)
In a large stock pot, place broccoli stems, cauliflower, onions, garlic, and 3 cups water or chicken stock. That blob you see is my chicken base, ready to be stirred in.
While this simmers over med heat, drain your now-tender broccoli heads. Use a blender to puree them. Work in small batches, this stuff is HOT. Place puréed broccoli in a bowl.
Melt one tbsp butter & two tbsp bacon fat in your broccoli pot (why do more dishes?!). Gradually whisk in 3 tbsp flour. When it's thick, slowly whisk in 3 c chicken stock.
Whisk in one tbsp Dijon mustard. Trust me on this one, it adds magic.
Stir in 1c heavy cream, and bring to a boil.
Turn off heat & stir in two cups shredded sharp cheddar. I used regular & aged white this time. Experiment with the cheese variations - it can become a whole different soup with interesting cheeses!
When cheese is melted, add mixture to the broccoli puree & stir well to combine.
Add that mixture to your simmering pot of vegetables & stock.
Soup is done when all vegetables are tender. Sea salt & pepper to taste. Serve alone, or with a dollop of creme fraiche & your favorite crusty bread!
These guides are sometimes a lot of work - if you see I omitted an ingredient, or didn't explain something clearly, please leave a comment so I can get it fixed. Thank you so much for looking!