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I’m a little concerned about over promising here. The promise I have made my daughter is to make her favorite soup for Monday’s Martin Luther King Day march. My challenge now is preparing a proper recipe for broccoli cheddar.

We have attended the village’s MLK Day march since our family’s return to the Dayton area…or, in other words, since our daughter’s birth. When she was younger, the march would lead us from Mills Lawn to the Central Chapel AME church on Limestone and High Street. Once inside, we’d sit in the pews, tuck our coats behind our feet, and listen to the program filled with poetry and prose. The restlessness of the children…or perhaps the overwhelming crowd…would often send us from sanctuary into the fellowship hall. There I would join the people gathered in the kitchen and help feed the people by portioning out hot soups. The soups were aromatic wonders capable of beating back the penetrating cold from our winter morning walk. For my tiny daughter, the soup that stood out warmly from the rest was the richly fragrant, bright green and yellow broccoli cheddar soup.

My daughter’s taste buds are not picky per se; they are however fickle. My chances of satisfying her senses boils down to finding the right recipe and executing it well. I’ve made a good many soups by now but recipes for broccoli cheddar incorporates a combination that I largely avoid: onion, carrot, celery.

I must admit it is the celery I avoid. I’m not sure what fuels that avoidance…perhaps it is celery’s intense grassy bouquet or its reedy texture. I often replace it with its close cousin flat leaf parsley.

Friday night we avoided celery altogether. Following my big sister Heidi’s advice, my husband Jeremy and I made cream of broccoli soup from the Betty Crocker cookbook and loaded it with a cup of grated cheddar. We both studiously avoided the celery. The modified cream of broccoli soup made a good base…for my husband, it evoked a creamy gazpacho…but next go round we can do better. I sense that we need to be bolder. Therefore, next time around we can do celery.


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