Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 8 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Now turn up the heat and add the bay leaf, diced potato, broccoli and stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are completely soft. Purée until completely smooth, either in the pan with a handheld blender or by pouring into a standing blender. Reheat before serving. Pour into a thermos flask to keep warm if eating later on.
To make the sandwiches, spread one side of the bread slices with the butter, cover half with cheese and top with the remaining bread, butter side down. Cut into 4 triangles per sandwich to make 8 small triangles in total. Serve with the soup.
Spice up the sandwiches as you wish with salad, chutney or pickle; a little marmite spread on the bread goes particularly well with this soup. The bay leaf helps minimise the ‘broccoli smell’ as the soup cooks.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Make the soup, then leave to cool at room temperature. Freeze (without garnishes or toppings) in a rigid container, leaving a bit of space for expansion, for up to 1-3 months. Reheat either from frozen or defrost in the fridge overnight. Once piping hot, add toppings or garnishes and serve.
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