Monday, February 6, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli-cheddar soup is one of my favorite meals to prepare on those especially frigid winter nights. You know, when the temperature gets down to, like, 50. (Hey, I'm a Texan after all!)


My first foray into making broccoli-cheese soup was less than successful. The cheese separated, leaving us with a bowlful of broccoli chunks and cheese-sand. Appetizing, eh? I've since learned my lesson- the secret to a smooth soup is adding the cheese bit by bit over medium-low heat. Crank it up, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

This simple-but-flavorful version originally hails from Allrecipes, although I've made several adaptations. Namely, halving the butter.

You're welcome.

Adapted from Allrecipes
Serves 3-4 as a main course

INGREDIENTS
2 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 large head of broccoli)
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (buy the block and shred it yourself)
Dash red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine broccoli, carrots, and chicken broth in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Melt butter over medium heat in a medium pot. Add onion and cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook one minute. Add flour and stir to combine with onion mixture. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.

3. Pour broccoli, carrots, and reserved cooking liquid into pot with onion mixture. Stir to combine. Add milk and heat until piping hot but not boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shredded cheese a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Remove from heat once all cheese has melted. Serve with crusty bread or crackers.

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