Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Kroger recently paid me to take two bags of close-to-expiration pre-cut broccoli off their hands. Seriously. The broccoli was marked down to .99¢ and there were "save $1.00 now" coupons on the front of the bags, so I ended up making a whole .02¢ on the deal! When does that ever happen?

I couldn't let my amazing deal go to waste. Thankfully, I had bookmarked a Broccoli Cheddar Soup from one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats, that fit the bill. As an added bonus, I had all the remaining ingredients on hand.

The soup was creamy (thanks again to my immersion blender), but still had some texture thanks to the couple of ladles of soup I pulled out before blending. The cheese sauce was really a thing of beauty and added just the right amount of cheddar flavor to the soup. I daresay that this soup is pretty foolproof. And that, my friends, is something we can all be thankful for. Make this soup. People will be thankful for you!

Start of by sauteing onions in some butter until they are translucent. Add in 1 c. of shredded/grated carrots.

Add in broccoli, chicken broth, garlic powder, and onion salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.

While the soup is coming to a boil and simmering, work on your cheese sauce. Make a roux of butter and flour. Whisk in 2 c. of milk and stir until thickened. I'm inpatient, so I turned up the heat and it was done in about 3-4 minutes. If you also suffer with impatience, make sure you whisk it constantly or it will stick and/or burn.

After it has thickened, whisk in 2 c. of shredded cheddar. This soup is worth the effort of grating your own cheese. And you already have the grater/food processor out thanks to the carrots, right? I wasn't able to get a pic of the completed cheese sauce as it came together so fast, but you see the flour, butter, and milk below.

After the cheese sauce has been added to the soup, season it with salt and pepper and either serve all chunky, remove some chunks and puree the rest (my choice), or puree all of it. Become admired for your mad culinary abilities by friends and loved ones. (I can't promise the latter, but I would be willing to bet you a cup of this soup on it.)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 6 tbsp. butter, divided
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped or shredded
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. onion salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the carrots to the pan and cook a couple minutes more.  Stir in the broccoli, chicken broth, onion salt and garlic powder.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. In a medium saucepan, melt remaining butter.  Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, whisking constantly.  Whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles, about 5 minutes.  Once the mixture has thickened, whisk in the cheese until completely melted.  Remove from the heat and add the cheese sauce to the soup pot.  Allow to simmer until warmed through and broccoli is tender.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  If desired, puree the soup with an immersion blender for a smooth texture.

Source: Annie's Eats

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