With the weather being so chilly lately, my thoughts have been turning to soup. I will probably make lentil soup after Christmas, when I have some leftover ham (stay tuned for that recipe).
Last week we had some bagged broccoli (for salad). It was one day past its date but looked and smelled fine. Art wanted to throw it out, but Devin wanted to use it for something. I suggested Broccoli Cheese Soup. Art doesn’t like that kind anyway, so he wouldn’t have to eat the “one day too old” broccoli, LOL. Devin was game. I had never made broccoli cheese soup before, but I know what I like, so it wasn’t too hard to figure out.
I did not use a blender to puree this. The broccoli mostly fell apart in the cooking process. There were a few small chunks, but I think that just added to the textural complexity of the dish (at least that’s what I heard Andrew Zimmern say one time on Bizarre Foods so I thought I would go with it 😉 The soup served perfectly with just a little garlic bread (for dipping).
Afterward, I asked Devin what he thought. He said, “Mom, to be honest, it tasted a lot better than I thought it would.” Well that’s high praise in my family!!
Broccoli Cheese Soup
6 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups broccoli florets, divided into small florets
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican four cheese blend
1 carrot, diced
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 dry mustard
a few drops of Sriracha sauce (to taste)
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Whisk in the flour and whisk until golden.
Gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth.
Add the chicken broth and heat to a simmer.
Reduce to medium-low and cook uncovered, until thickened, about 2o minutes.
Add broccoli and carrot, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
Add spices to the pot and continue stirring.
Add the cheese to the soup and whisk until blended.