Separate florets from stalks of broccoli. Chop stalks and cook in salted boiling water for 2 or 3 minutes.
then add florets and cook 2 minutes more or long enough that they turn dark green. Drain but reserve 2 cups cooking water (only if you do not plan to use chicken broth!) Saute garlic and pepper flakes in olive oil until garlic starts to become golden. Add broccoli and stir to coat well with the oil. The florets should be crisp tender. Remove them with slotted spoon and set aside.Puree the remaining contents of the pan including the oil with a few ounces of the reserved florets. Bring the chicken stock to a boil with 1 cup of reserved broccoli water and add soup pasta.
Cook for 5 minutes. add the garlic broccoli puree and cook 5 more minutes. Keep adding a bit more broccoli water if soup is getting to thick.
Finally add the reserved broccoli florets and heat through. serve with the cheese on the side. Good with a crusty bread and red wine to make a meal by itself.