Most of October we were either traveling or had visitors in town (hence the lack of posting) so we ate out A LOT. Naturally, when we finally finished our whirlwind of vacations, I was craving lighter fare. Several soups and salads made it on the menu for this week.
Now, I’m not an idiot. I know that broccoli cheddar soup is not really the most healthy soup, but in my mind it’s better than a big meal of fried foods. Also, this particular recipe is a little lighter than most. Instead of using primarily half-and-half, cream, or whole milk; the base is mostly chicken stock.
I prefer my broccoli cheddar soup pureed, but you can skip that step if you prefer it chunky. You could also add some cauliflower to the soup if you like the flavor. The soup lends itself to a lot of changes!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup (serves 4-6)
1/4 cup butter (use a 1/2 cup if you don’t care about extra calories, it will be that much better!)
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 quart chicken stock (I used fat free)
1 lb broccoli florets
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you like it
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
salt & pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, melt butter over heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Sprinkle flour over onions and butter and whisk until you have a smooth paste. Slowly add milk and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add in chicken stock and broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne better.
Turn off heat and stir in cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Working in two batches puree in a blender. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender directly in the pan. Serve hot with an extra sprinkle of cheddar cheese.
Recipe adapted from AllRecipes