Friday, December 28, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Recently, Matt wanted soup for dinner.  It was a cold, snowy day and I figured that I could make us a homemade soup rather than buying a pre-packaged soup that you just add water to.  We make those soups occasionally but they're so full of sodium! 

I've seen this recipe on Josie's blog before but have just never made it.  I was somewhat intimidated by having to make a roux, but I was successful and am no longer intimidated!  The soup came together in about 30 minutes which makes it a great option for a weeknight meal.  This even included chopping up the carrot and broccoli! 

Overall, we were slightly disappointed by this soup.  I think I would reduce the amount of broccoli next time, probably going with 3-4 cups instead of the recommended 4-5. I used my immersion blender as Josie suggested and it just felt too chunky and I'd prefer a creamier soup.  Or maybe I need to blend it more next time? I'm not sure but I'd definitely make this again. 

It was filling, quick and served with fresh from the oven bread, made a perfect weeknight meal!

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
Recipe from: Pink Parsley
Originally from: Annie's Eats

6 tblsp butter, divided
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (I used a small handful of baby carrots that we had)
4-5 cups small broccoli florets
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of red pepper flakes
4 Tblsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half or heavy ream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and carrots to the pan and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the broccoli, chicken broth, onion powder, red pepper flakes and garlic powder. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmering. 

As the broccoli simmers, melt the remaining butter in a medium saucepan.  Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, whisking continuously.  Whisk in the milk and cream and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles.  This will take about 5-7 minutes.  I felt like it would never thicken and just when I was planning to give up, it started to thicken! Remove from the heat, stir in the shredded cheese until its melted and season with salt and pepper. It's going to look so cheesy, gooey and good you're going to have to resist eating it with a spoon!

If you want, use an immersion blender to puree most of the broccoli mixture.  Stir the cheese and milk mixture into the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally until heated through.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve warm. 

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