Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Since Sunday was the first cooler day we have had in awhile, I decided to make soup for dinner.
I had my eye on this Broccoli and Cheese Soup I found on Pinterest (peasandcrayons.com) 
and decided to give it a go.
It was really thick...and I told the family I wouldn't make it so dense next time, but they said they liked how thick it was. It was so good and very filling.  We had French Bread with the soup and it was a perfect cool, evening dinner. Definitely a keeper!! If you are feeding more than 3 people, I would suggest doubling the recipe. The three of us each got a bowl, but that was it.

Ben: 10
Becky: 9
Ryan: 8

Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 big bowls
  • one bunch of fresh broccoli [enough for a few cups of chopped tops]
  • 2 cups vegetable [or chicken!] broth
  • ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping [freshly grated]
  • 1 heaping cup of regular gouda cheese [freshly grated]
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots [or a little extra!]
  • 1 small white onion [about ⅔ cup or 1 cup, chopped]
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half and half [or heavy cream], room temperature
  • 3 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp allspice
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp dried basil
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp salt [will vary based on salt content of your stock/broth]
  • a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. First chop veggies: Chop em! Dice the onions super small, mince the garlic, an shred the carrots if you didn't buy pre-shredded. This can all be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge for later. For the broccoli, chop ⅔ of it into tiny florets [just cut off as much stem as you can and it'll fall apart in the pot] and then take the remaining ⅓ and give it a rough chop so you have a few large pieces to add to the soup. Totally optional!
  2. Add your veggie broth to a pot on medium-high heat, add your ⅔ of your broccoli [about 2 cups of florets] as well as your onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaf. Simmer on medium, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
  3. Once the broth is done, start your roux: In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter on medium heat, whisking constantly. Once melted, slowly add 3 tablespoons of flour as you continue to whisk.
  4. For a thicker soup, use an extra tablespoon of each. I skipped it. Remove from heat and slowly pour in the broth from your veggie mixture [its okay if some of the veggies jump in along side it!] and stir to incorporate.
  5. Next pour in the veggies and slowly stir in 1 cup of room temperature half and half.
  6. Return to the burner on very low heat, uncovered.
  7. Spoon out the bay leaf and season with the above herbs and spices, adding a little extra of whichever you like to taste. I personally adore the pinch of nutmeg in this soup but feel free to leave it out if it's just not your cup of tea! The soup is great both ways! Depending on the saltiness of your broth, you might skip the salt entirely or prefer to add a bit more. Taste and tweak as needed after adding your cheese.
  8. Oh yes: the cheese! Once the soup has warmed back up, stir in the grated cheeses [slowly and in small batches] and remove from heat immediately. I won't tell if you sneak extra cheese in your soup =)
  9. That extra broccoli you left on the side? Blanch in boiling water, steam in your microwave, or basically cook it however you'd like, then stir that green goodness into your completed soup for great texture and an extra burst of broccoli.
  10. Garnish with a little extra grated cheddar and a sprinkle of parsley and even a pinch of spicy red pepper flakes if you'd like! Anything goes!
Feeling fancy? garnish with red pepper flakes, parsley, and extra sharp cheddar

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