Monday, December 30, 2013

(Veggie Loaded) Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Today, all I could think about is WARMTH. I stuck close to the space heater in my office for even the slightest bit of comfort. These negative temperatures are rough on an outdoors person like myself. When we head to the Rose Bowl on Wednesday (woo!) I will be soaking up the sun as much as possible.

Tonight was the perfect soup night. One of my absolute favorites is broccoli cheddar but I normally only eat it as a treat since it's pretty calorie dense. I took it upon myself to make a version that provides a good dose of veggies with less of the "bad for you" ingredients like cream and cheese. The outcome was strikingly similar to what I'm used to. Served piping hot in a bread bowl, this recipe is a great snowy-day recipe and very family friendly!



1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.

2. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until flour is slightly golden.



3. Whisk in half-and-half and chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.


4. Add shredded carrot and broccoli florets and simmer an additional 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.




5. Transfer mixture (carefully!) to a blender and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. (You could also use an emersion blender here as well if you don't want to deal with transferring the hot liquid.)
6. Pour blended soup back into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cheese. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.





(Veggie Loaded) Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Serves 6

All you need:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fat free half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock
4 carrots, shredded (a little over 1 cup)
1 large head broccoli, cut into small florets
4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish

All you do:
1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
2. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until flour is slightly golden.
3. Whisk in half-and-half and chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
4. Add shredded carrot and broccoli florets and simmer an additional 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
5. Transfer mixture (carefully!) to a blender and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. (You could also use an emersion blender here as well if you don't want to deal with transferring the hot liquid.)
6. Pour blended soup back into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cheese. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.




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