Saturday, December 14, 2013

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

There are not many vegetables that I don't like, but one vegetable that I have had an aversion to for most of my life is broccoli. My husband has always tried to get me to eat it because of all the health benefits, but I always refuse. For some reason now that I am pregnant I have been wanting to eat broccoli for the first time in my life. Over the summer, I made a broccoli salad a couple times and loved it. While in BVI, I ate all of the broccoli off of Greg's plate that was served with his Mahi Mahi. At the store the other day while grabbing produce, on an impulse I guessed it...broccoli! I also bought some brussels sprouts, which is crazy, because I have detested them since I was  child! So, with the broccoli I made this broccoli cheddar soup. Greg likes chunky soup so I left it chunky, but you can use an immersion blender to smooth it out if you want. This soup is pretty delicious and it is super easy to make. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

I also made a delicious dish with those brussels sprouts - recipe to come soon!

Recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Soup

For the soup
2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 cup of diced yellow onion
1 cup of thinly sliced carrots (cut on the round) and then cut into halves
3 1/2 cups of small broccoli florets
3 cups of chicken broth OR vegetable broth (to make it vegetarian-friendly)
1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
1/8 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
A pinch or two of ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper

For the cheese sauce
4 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
4 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups of whole or 2% milk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
2 cups of medium or sharp cheddar cheese, grated

For the soup
Melt the 2 Tbsp. of butter in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add in the diced onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add in the carrots and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. Add in the broccoli florets, broth, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low while you make the cheese sauce.

For the cheese sauce
Melt the 4 Tbsp. of butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add in the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly until the flour is golden brown in color. Whisk in the milk and cream and cook until it thickens and bubbles (about 5 minutes). Then whisk in the cheddar cheese and stir until it is fully melted. Remove the saucepan and add the cheese sauce into the soup. Stir well. Allow the soup to simmer until it is completely warmed through and the broccoli is tender. Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with a little salt and pepper and a dollop of sour cream (if desired). Serve with a side of french bread.

*I left the soup chunky. If you prefer smoother, use an immersion blender to puree the soup.*

Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats

Makes about 6 servings