1 small head broccoli (1/2 lb)
1 large boiling potato (1/2 lb)
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
l large garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded kosher mock lobster pieces
Discard tough lower part of the broccoli stem. Peel remaining stem and finely chop it. Cut the remaining broccoli into very small (1-inch) florets.
Cook florets in a large pot of boiling lightly salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. (This is a note to save the water that the broccoli is cooking in and that you will be draining) Transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, and then drain the broccoli and making sure to save 3 cups cooking water for chowder. Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Melt the butter in a stock pot and add the potato, onion, bell pepper, broccoli stems, and garlic. Cook over a medium temperature, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cumin, salt, pepper, and mustard and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the saved broccoli cooking water and simmer (partially covered), stirring occasionally, until potatoes is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted, then season with salt and pepper. Puree about 2 cups of chowder at a time in a blender until smooth and return it to the pot. Add the broccoli florets and mock lobster pieces and heat the soup over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.