Broccoli & Tasso Cheese Bisque

Broccoli and cheese are a match made in Heaven. Be careful not to overcook the broccoli; this will help to maintain its green color and allow it to stay crunchy. 

1/2 cup vegetable oil 
1 pound Tasso ham, cubed 
1 cup chopped onion 
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper 
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper 
1/2 cup chopped celery 
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
1 cup flour 
8 cups chicken broth, heated 
2 cups heavy whipping cream 
1 pound cheddar cheese 
1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into pieces 
2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning 
1/2 teaspoon white pepper 
1/4 cup minced parsley 
1/4 cup chopped green onions 
1. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add tasso ham and cook for 5 minutes. Be careful not to brown it. 
2. Add onion, red and green bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. 
3. Add flour and stir until a roux is formed. Do not brown flour. Then add the heated chicken broth and whip until a light sauce is formed. Simmer for 5 minutes. 
4. Stir in heavy cream, cheddar cheese, broccoli, Creole seasoning and white pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
5. Add parsley and green onions. 
6. Divide into 6 large bowls and serve. 
Yields 6 servings.
Recipe Compliments of Chef Patrick Mould.