So, the weather has turned, and therefore, I am turning towards warm comfort foods, and I am in no way an amazing cook. It’s not so much that I can’t, I just tend to find myself starved for time sometimes, and after dealing with the kids and working all day, sometimes I just don’t want to spend forever cooking. My husband makes a mean lasagna, but my specialty seems to lie in the soup/stew/chili area.
So last night, I busted out the pots, and made some super yummy broccoli cheese soup. I had some people asking about it, so here’s the recipe (please note, I found this recipe on 12 Tomatoes, and took out the things I don’t like – like using actual onions, and nutmeg. Nutmeg has no place in broccoli cheese soup, and anybody who tells you otherwise is wrong), so all credit should go to them:
- 4 cups of broccoli florets
- 2 1/2 cups of grated cheese (whatever kind you’d like – I used regular medium this time, but I’ve made it with sharp cheddar before, and it’s pretty amazing)
- 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock (I‘ve used vegetable stock, too, and it’s also great)
- 2 cups half-and-half (I know, you’re thinking “But I like my soup thick, so I’ll use heavy cream instead.” Stop right there. I LOVE thick soups, but if you use heavy cream, you’ll wind up with a pretty solid chunk of soup. Trust me, I’ve been there)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped ***optional – I don’t like onions, so I use onion powder. Don’t judge me***
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper, to taste (totally optional – I did not use these this time, and it was fiiiiine)
Make sure you have everything ready and measured beforehand, otherwise you’ll wind up like me, rushing around and trying not to burn anything.
- In a medium pan, over medium-high heat, you’re going to saute the onions and garlic in a tablespoon of butter until they’re softened. ***Full disclosure: As stated above, I don’t like onions, so I use onion powder, and if I don’t have fresh garlic, again, I use powder. I’m sure some people are crying blasphemy as they read this, but whatever, if you feel that way, use actual onions and fresh garlic. If you ARE using the powders, you don’t have to start this yet, because it won’t take long. I just toss it all in the pan, and start the next step, and while the roux is in the works, I quickly turn the heat on and melt the butter and powders together.***
- In a large pot, cook remaining butter with flour to create a roux, 3-4 minutes. Once pasty and thick, add in half-and-half and chicken stock. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Make sure to give it a stir every now and then, otherwise it sticks to the bottom…or maybe I just did something wrong, but hey, my soup hasn’t killed me yet, so I MUST be doing something right. ***Ok, so…I suck at making a roux. For those of you who are like me and don’t do fancy things like this, I’d start by making sure the butter is getting melty, and add in the flour. The first time I made this soup, I tossed the flour and butter in at the same time…made for some clumpy roux.***
- Add onions, garlic, and broccoli to the pot and simmer for another 25-30 minutes, until thickened. ***Now that you have melted butter mixed with some garlic and onion powders, just scrape that into pot. Don’t worry…it’s still super amazing. Fresh garlic is definitely better, but if you don’t have it on hand, using the powders works just fine.***
- Stir in cheddar cheese until melted, taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
- Optional: Puree soup to smooth out chunks, or serve as is.
And that’s it! You wind up with a beautiful, simple soup. This isn’t fancy by any means (as you can tell by my stellar photography). It’s made for people like me who aren’t the greatest cooks, but at least our food hasn’t killed anybody yet!
Now I just have to get my family to quit whining and try it out.