- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bunch broccoli, florets roughly chopped and stems peeled and sliced (about 7 cups)
- 1 large russet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 ounces sharp white Cheddar, grated (1⁄2 cup)
- bagel chips, for serving
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper (if using) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add the broth, broccoli, potato, 2 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
- In a blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, adjusting the consistency with water as necessary. (Alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender in the saucepan.) Top with the Cheddar and bagel chips, if desired, before serving.