Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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I love Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  What I don’t love is how terrible I feel after consuming even a small bowl of it.  I’m not talking about terrible as in, “Oh my god I just ate an ‘x’ calorie meal, my trainer is going to ride me so hard for this–” terrible.  (By the way it totally sounds like I made that last sentence up.  I’m 95% sure I overheard someone say it at a Starbucks while ordering one of those non fat skinny thingamajiggies.  Either that or I dreamt it or I saw it on TV somewhere.  Anyway it seemed real at the time, then by the next sentence that 5% of doubt kicked in.)  Where the hell was I? — I’m talking terrible as in, “If the world were coming to an end in 1 minute and I was the only person who could save it simply by pressing a button 20 feet away, I literally do not think I could remove myself from this booth–” terrible.  Ah, yes this is a food blog and today I’m talking about soup.  I forgot for a second.

This should really be called Broccoli and Other Random Veggies Cheddar Soup, but that seemed kind of a wordy title.  I’m sorry if you were looking for just broccoli and cheddar soup.  I have a history of throwing in as many vegetables as I can into a dish, especially when they happen to be on their way to funksville in my fridge.  Which is the exact circumstance I found myself in when I made this soup.  Now that I have absolutely titillated your taste buds with the prospect of eating over ripe produce–on to the recipe!

Recipe:

2 heads broccoli (15-20 oz, chopped small)
1 onion (diced)
1 carrot (grated)
1 pepper (whatever you’re feeling-I used red, chopped small)
1 celery (diced)
1/2 cup corn
4 garlic cloves (diced)
4 oz cheddar cheese (grated)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups milk (I used skim, use whatever you want/have)
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter
salt, pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)

Prepare all your vegetables.

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Cook your onions with your 3 tbsp butter over medium heat until your onions are translucent.  Yes you can use fake butter, I think I used half real, half fake.

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Add your garlic and cook until fragrant, just a minute or so.  I have a small cutting board and as the title of this blog states a small kitchen in general so a few other vegetables found their way in early.

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Now add your 3 tbsp flour and mix until it forms a paste.

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Cook until it no longer smells floury.  We’re going for a blond roux here so just a few minutes.

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Add your milk, broth, and water and bring to a boil.  I used skim milk to keep this dish less heavy but it will obviously work with a heavier milk product.  You can use vegetable broth to make this full veggie friendly, but just to let you know Panera puts chicken broth in theirs so vegetarians beware.

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Add all your vegetables and simmer until soft.  Cooking time will differ depending on how small you chopped everything, I would say no longer than 20 minutes though.  This is why it’s a good idea to chop everything really small, it’ll cook considerably faster.  Some will argue that the time saved in cooking was spent on chopping the vegetables smaller and I would argue that the fact you felt the need to make that argument is why you don’t have many friends.

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You could stop here if you wanted.  Some people like a chunky soup.  But I think more people like a creamy broccoli soup so we’ll go a little farther.  You can do this with a blender, food processor, or you can use something that gets used in our kitchen everyday–The $15 Immersion Blender!

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Blend it as much or as little as you want then add your cheese.  Add as much cheese as you want, I only added 4 oz.  As much as I like cheese, it never seems to reciprocate those feelings.

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I wait until the end to salt because blending everything together changes the flavors considerably.  Because I added corn and used a red pepper my soup had a southwestern feel to it so I added 1 1/2 tsp of chili powder to compliment the flavor.  Totally optional though, the soup was still delicious without it.

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Here’s a delicious soup with lots of vegetables and less dairy than many broccoli cheddar soup recipes “so it doesn’t leave you with that heavy food feeling in your stomach.”  I jest, it’s nummy and you should try it if you’re into nummy food.  🙂

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2 thoughts on “Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  1. Pingback: Potato Broccoli Soup | Our Studio Kitchen

  2. Pingback: Potato Broccoli Soup | Our Studio Kitchen

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