Friday, October 14, 2016

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I learned this recipe in a cooking class I attended years ago.  Since then, the original paper copy has been buried in my stacks of recipes, but I can still make it from memory.  It's a quick, easy soup - perfect for a "Meatless Monday" or any night of the week.  You can make it in about 30 minutes if needed and serve with some good bread (the Rosemary Parmesan bread from Costco is ridiculously good), a side salad or whatever you like.  I've tried to approximate the measurements here.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

5 tbsp. unsalted butter
5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, diced (yellow or sweet)
1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced (finely diced if you have kids who pick stuff out)
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
2 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth (I prefer low-sodium)
2-3 c. broccoli florets, chopped
2 oz. (ish) American cheese, roughly chopped (do NOT use the plastic-wrapped stuff!  I use Boar's Head White)
1 c. milk (2% or whole for a creamier soup, I use skim since it's what we usually have on hand)
salt & pepper to taste

In a saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil.  Drop in broccoli, and then cook about 1-2 minutes until broccoli is bright green.  Turn off heat, spoon broccoli out and set aside, reserving all liquid.  Melt butter over medium heat, then add onion.  Cook about 2 minutes, then add in bell pepper.  Add in red pepper flakes if you like - my husband loves it, my little doesn't, so we just leave them out for now.  Cook about 2 more minutes, then stir in flour.  Cook about 2 minutes ( know, everything is 2 minutes - I'm estimating!) to remove the raw flour taste.

Whisk in broth, and then bring to a simmer, until the soup begins to thicken.  Stir in 1/2 of the broccoli and reserved liquid.  Continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes (or 10 if you're in a hurry like me most times).  Stir in American cheese, until completely melted.  In a small bowl, add about 1/4 c. of the hot soup mixture, and then whisk in 1 c. of milk to temper the milk (don't add cold milk to the hot soup - it won't go well).  Whisk into the milk mixture, and continue to gently simmer.  I took my immersion blender and just ran it through there a few times, to chop up the broccoli a bit (makes it harder for the picky one to avoid it), and then added in the rest of the broccoli that had been set aside.  Add salt & pepper to taste, and then serve.

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