Sunday, March 24, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Look, I'm gonna tell y'all something. I don't really do broccoli. There, I said it. I'm really good about eating my vegetables and I don't consider myself a picky eater.(although I do loathe those dern water chestnuts....and curry. Just cannot do curry. Oh, and olives. Bleh. Maybe I'm a smidgen picky.) But the only way I'm gonna eat some stinky broccoli is either if it's covered, and I mean covered in cheese, or if it's in broccoli cheese soup. Notice a common thread there? Apparently I just love anything smothered, covered, and completely taken over by cheese. I mean, who doesn't?

A couple weeks ago, we tried out Bruegger's, which is a deli down the road from our house. Their specialty is bagels, and they offer all kinds of different bagels, cream cheese spreads, breakfast bagels, sandwiches, etc. They also offer lunch bagels/sandwiches, as well as soups and salads. I tried out a turkey bagel sandwich and some broccoli cheese soup. Their soup has really good flavor, but a little on the thin side for my taste. It needed bigger chunks of broccoli in it, too. So, I've been wanting to make my own ever since and I finally did today! Oh, it was everything I had been imagining! And it was so easy and quick too. It was ready to eat in less than 45 minutes. 
A yummy, warm bowl of cheesy (albeit broccoli-filled) goodness! 

Who can resist? If this girl, who doesn't exactly jive with broccoli, loves it...YOU will too!!

Wanna enjoy a bowl of love for yourself? 

Broccoli Cheese Soup
*Serves 5-6*

- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 clove minced garlic (you can use garlic powder as well)
- 4-5 tbsp flour
- appr 3 cups chicken broth(or vegetable)
- 2 cups milk (I used skim)
- appr 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 14 oz bag frozen broccoli florets(use more or less if you want)
- appr 2.5-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- dash of salt and pepper

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook minced garlic in butter for a few minutes. Don't let it burn!
Add flour and whisk in well. This will create a roux that will help thicken the soup. Whisk constantly, allowing flour to cook for about a minute or so. You want to get rid of the flour taste.
Pour in milk, stirring as you add it. Let it blend together and do its thing for a sec.
Add in chicken broth next, then season with the nutmeg. (add in your garlic powder here too if you're using it instead of minced garlic)
Throw in the broccoli and let simmer until tender. (about 20-30 minutes)
Throw in the shredded cheese and mix in well. I used sharp cheddar but you can get creative here. Add whatever you like, or combine some. The possibilities are endless.
Now, this is where you can make a choice. I totally intended to use my immersion blender to blend up about 1/2 of the soup. But, after it cooked a while and got really tender, I found it just as easy to just mash up some of the broccoli with my spoon, while keeping a good bit of the pieces in chunks as well. It came out to the perfect consistency. If it's too thick for you, you can add a little more milk or chicken broth. 
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Top with more cheese, because,'s CHEESE!!!

Side note: I freak out a little every time I see the reflection of the fan in the spoon in this picture. 
It looks like a spider and it's almost more than I can take. Haha!!

Serve with a nice piece of crusty bread, crackers, or croutons and you've got a nice hearty meal!! Also pairs well with a panini or a salad.

Give this one a try the next time you want a warm bowl of soup. Or the next time you want a lot of yummy cheese! ;-)

I hope y'all had a great weekend!


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