Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California is a historic mansion and gardens that offer a wide variety of enrichment classes on painting, drawing, botanical sketches, and high-end floral arrangements. I chose to take their watercolor painting class as it was a short two-day class and more than anything I really wanted to attend a class at the beautiful Filoli Gardens in early spring when their daffodils are in bloom.
The watercolor course I took was a two-day class in one of the lovely rooms inside the historic Filoli mansion. On each day we got two breaks and an hour lunch break and most of the students grabbed lunch at the charming Filoli cafe on site which is nestled in a shady redwood and oak tree garden. This is a beautiful setting where the cafe serves espresso drinks, pastries, and light lunches.
On a cool February afternoon having a warm soup for lunch at the cafe sounded really good, and broccoli cheddar soup was on the menu. I’m not a big fan of broccoli cheddar soup. For one, it always has bacon bits, and secondly the bright orange cheddar cheese in the typical broccoli cheddar soup turned me off for some reason – that bright orangey color always looked so unnatural. But here at the Filoli Cafe their broccoli cheddar soup was vegetarian! It had no bacon bits, was made with vegetable broth, and it didn’t look thick and gelatinous as other broccoli cheddar soups. The soup at the cafe was delicious. At the Filoli Garden cafe is where I had my first taste of broccoli cheddar soup.
Broccoli White Cheddar Soup
- 1 lb broccoli florets cut into small pieces
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1-2 cups white cheddar cheese finely shredded
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cups vegetable broth or water
- Salt and pepper (hold off on the salt until the soup is completely ready as the cheese has salt and it’s best to wait till the cheese is added to the soup before adding more)
- 1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
- A pinch of red chili flakes
- In a large pot heat 2 tbsp olive oil and sauté garlic until tender. Add all the broccoli, broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook covered for 10-15 minutes until broccoli is tender. Blend the cooked broccoli into a puree.
- In a separate pot melt 2 tbsp butter. Add flour and whisk in until bubbles form at the edges of the pan. Add the milk, whisking constantly until milk and flour are creamy. Add cheese and melt in the sauce to make a cheese sauce.
- Add the cheese sauce to the broccoli soup and mix-in. Taste and adjust for salt. Heat through for a few more minutes. Soup is ready.
- Serve broccoli cheddar soup with extra garnish of cheese and some black pepper.
Here are a few pics of my watercolor painting process. 🎨 😊
from Art Quotes.com
Watercolor is a swim in the metaphysics of life…
a mirror of one’s own character.
Let it be unpredictable and colorful.