Pappa Renny’s Thickening Roux is a new(ish) vendor at Atherton Market in Charlotte. I’d never seen a product like it before, so of course I had to purchase some and give it a try. It consists of solidified pieces of roux that look like beige colored dominoes. They are made from unsalted butter and organic all-purpose flour. There is also a gluten-free option that is made from brown rice flour. They need to be stored in either the refrigerator or the freezer.
The uses for Pappa Renny’s Thickening Roux are virtually endless and Pappa Renny himself is a wonderful source of ideas. He normally provides a recipe each week and the week I went it was- you guessed it! Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Having the already formed roux blocks to just drop in the soup made cooking the soup so much easier. Plus it really did it’s job and the soup had a nice thick texture, but no flour taste.
Currently Pappa Renny’s Thickening Roux can only be purchased in the Charlotte Metro area. But who knows. Someday you may see it nationwide. Pappa Renny is at Atherton Market on Saturdays from 9am-2pm and the Thickening Roux can also be purchased at Reid’s Fine Foods on Selwyn Ave or Organic Marketplace in Gastonia, NC.
I altered the recipe just slightly, reducing the called for 1 tablespoon of dried thyme to 1 teaspoon. One tablespoon of thyme is a whole lot of thyme and I was worried that may have been a typo. I also reduced the red pepper flakes from 1 teaspoon to ½ teaspoon and it still had plenty of kick to it.
If you’d like to make this soup without thickening roux, I suggest adding 4 tablespoons of melted butter to the Dutch oven after adding the garlic. Once it is melted, add 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually add in the chicken broth, whisking very well to avoid lumps and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Those of you who live outside the Charlotte area, have you ever seen a product similar to Pappa Renny’s Thickening Roux?
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 6 cubes Pappa Renny Thickening Roux
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup onion, cut in a small dice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- ¼ cup light cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place a Dutch oven over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken broth and broccoli and bring to a boil. Add thickening roux and whisk until dissolved.
- Adjust heat to keep a strong simmer and cook uncovered 25-30 minutes.
- Using either an immersion blender or regular blender, blend soup until smooth.
- Add cream and 1 cup of cheese and simmer an additional 5 minutes, stirring often
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with remaining 1/2 cup flour sprinkled on top.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings