Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I HEART...Homemade Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Gerald stayed home last Thursday to attend an online CLE course. So he was home - but he was working. It was our last day of homeschool before the holidays, and it was a wet, rainy day. I knew I wanted to make a warm, comforting soup for lunch.

I had picked up a head of broccoli on sale earlier in the week, so I decided to make broccoli cheese soup. I know now why it was on sale. As soon as I cut into it, I saw it was going bad. No way to save it. I had already started my soup, so I was getting ready to run to the store for more broccoli when I remembered my mother had told me she had broccoli that should be ready soon in her fall garden. I took a chance and ran over the rain!...and here is a picture of my reward - 

Y'all - this head of broccoli was as big as MY head! I'm not kidding! Isn't it pretty? Storebought broccoli can't even touch the taste and texture of homegrown.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

one head of broccoli, cut up and washed
half an onion, diced
two julienned carrots
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
one 14 oz can chicken broth
one cup heavy cream
one cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Begin by sauteing the onion in a skillet with a tablespoon of EVOO. Remove from heat. While the onions were cooking, I chopped my broccoli and julienned my carrots. I just tossed them in on top of the cooked onions to avoid getting out another bowl.

TIP - This is a cream soup that you blend, so be sure to cut up some of the broccoli stem under the florets. It will soften as it cooks and it has great flavor!

Melt butter in a dutch oven or large pot. Add flour and whisk in until mixed.

Cook for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Don't let it get really dark.

Add chicken broth, cream, milk and veggies. Stir well and bring to a simmer.

Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to pulse until mostly smooth. (I do like to leave a few larger pieces.) If you don't have an immersion blender, use a regular blender. Be careful! the mixture is hot and will expand.

Add grated cheddar and mix until smooth.

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

This is sooooooo yummy.

Tomorrow I'll give you the recipe for the baked ham and cheese pastries. They make for great dipping!

I had somewhere to go that night, and Gerald and the kids grabbed a burger before TKD, so I sent the leftovers to my parents. I figured they deserved it. They did, after all, grow the beautiful broccoli which was the star of the dish! 

We haven't had a lot of cool weather yet, but all the rainy days have made me hungry for soup! I've pulled out my favorite soup recipes and I'll be sharing them with you over the next few weeks.

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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