Friday, February 25, 2011

Good Food Friday: Broccoli Cheese Soup

I have been on the hunt for a respectable broccoli cheese soup for a couple years now. Specifically one that did not call for processed cheese food, you know, Velveta. I go through all the trouble of making darn near everything from scratch but I was getting so desperate for that creamy cheesy soup that I was tempted almost enough to cheat. This was to be my final attempt before I shamelessly caved and I must say it was a huge success.

The super rich texture of this soup comes from beginning with a roux (pronounced roo), which is a mixture of fat and flour. That is combined with milk, broth and a bunch of vegetables and sprinkled with cheese at the end. It made its first public appearance at a girls night in and is sure to be a comfort food favorite.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken/vegetable broth (or bouillon equivalent)
  • 2 cups half and half (or milk)
  • 1/2 pound broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
  • Saute onion until translucent. Set aside.
  • In a medium pot over medium - low heat, melt butter. Add flour. Whisk together. Let it cook and bubble but not burn, about 1-3 minutes. Add milk and whisk. Then add broth. Whisk and simmer until soup begins to thicken, about 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Add vegetables and simmer for about 20 minutes, until vegetable are very tender. Do not allow to boil. Whisk every now and then. Hope your arm isn't tired from all this whisking.
  • This step is optional. Transfer half of soup to a blender and puree for a couple seconds. Put blended soup back into the pot.
  • Add cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg and .... you got it, whisk. Enjoy it hot.

I will tell you that the worst part of making this soup is the chopping of veggies. I was totally done before I realized I could have put my Pampered Chef chopper to good use on this one. Either way, this meal is completely worth it. Try to stay true to the vegetable measurements because adding too much broccoli will give you a greenish soup.

And in case you were wondering, girls night was topped off with a movie, pedicure...

and this indulgence.

The dessert was so decadent that not one of us girls could even get through half of it. Yes, this was a splurge evening and I look forward to it every month.

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