(1) Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces. Discard the hard stem pieces, but keep tender leaves and stem parts.
(2) Steam the cut broccoli for about 5-8 minutes, until just bright green in color. Do not over- cook.
(3) In a 10-inch enameled (non-metal) skillet, heat 6 oz of butter until melted. Add chopped garlic and wait until butter is hot enough to cook in. Add steamed broccoli, then chervil to the skillet. Lightly salt the broccoli.
(4) Cover, and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for another 5-10 minutes or until the broccoli turns a darker green color and becomes very soft.
(5) Mash the broccoli right in the skillet until no large pieces remain. Use a potato masher or a strong wooden spoon. Mash until there are no pieces remaining that are too big to fit in a soup spoon.
(6) While broccoli is cooking, add beaten egg yolk to 2 cups of milk.
(7) Put 3 Tbsp butter into a 2-3 quart saucepan. Use enamel or glass for best soup flavor. Metal pans will make this soup bitter. Melt butter and add flour. When the flour bubbles and starts to cook, add the egg/milk mixture into the saucepan. Add the cardamom, mace, and white pepper. Stir con- tents of saucepan constantly with wooden spoon until thick. Lower the cooking heat.
(8) Empty the mashed broccoli mixture into the sau- cepan. Stir until well-mixed. Slowly stir in the remaining milk and the cream. As soon as the soup becomes hot enough to cook again, add the grated cheeses.
(9) Turn the heat down lower and simmer for about 5 more minutes, stirring to allow the cheeses to melt and mix while the table is being set.
Serve immediately and retire quickly so as not to be trampled by those who smelled it cooking.
Notes This recipe may be doubled, halved or whatever without penalty. Vary the amount of milk added the second time to change the soup thickness to your own tastes. You also may use any fresh green vegetable as a substitute for the broc- coli. Asparagus tips, artichoke hearts, and corn are espe- cially nice. Cook them in the same way as you did the broc- coli. Use any leftover butter on the hard French finger rolls.
Contributor George Robertson Fort Worth, Texas