From Mom's Kitchen. I very rarely make any changes; mostly her recipes are just right as written and, more than anything, they remind me of her.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 pound fresh broccoli crowns
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
Trim broccoli into 1-inch florets. Cut the stems into 1/4-inch slices. Add the stems to the bottom of a steaming basket, then place florets on top. Steam for 5-minutes or until broccoli is very tender. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and, when broccoli is done, refresh it in the ice water to keep the color bright. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a large soup kettle. Add onion and celery and cook over medium heat until onion turns golden - about 8 minutes. Season with the salt.
Add flour to the pot, stir, and cook for 1 minute to "toast" the flour. Slowly add milk - stirring constantly - then add stock. Let cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it thickens.
Add herbs and broccoli and continue to cook until piping hot. (Mom used to always use the term "piping hot" - a phrase as old as Chaucer's The Miller's Tale - meaning that food was so hot it made a high-pitched whistling sound, perhaps like a tea kettle or - well - a bagpipe!)
Serve in heated bowls with a loaf of crusty French bread.
Makes 6-8 servings.