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Friday, April 20, 2012

For the love of cheese, make this soup!

I don't know about you, but I love cheese. I also love soup. I also love broccoli. (Well. Sometimes.)

This soup, which I found on Tracey's blog, is a no brainer. It's easy, pretty quick, and so very yummy! If you like Panera's broccoli cheddar, you'll love this. It's a little better, in my opinion. Hint - don't skip the nutmeg, and make sure you use a good quality cheddar! I used an Irish country white cheddar in mine. And for pete's sake, don't buy pre-shredded!!! Originally hailing from a small town in Tennessee, I understand the woes of having too few cheeses to choose from, but even if you have to buy Bi-lo brand, block cheese is always the better choice - it tastes better and once shredded retains more moisture, so it melts easier into soups :)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups broccoli florets
1 large carrot, diced
8 oz (about 2 1/2 cups) grated sharp cheddar cheese

Add the butter to a large saucepan or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the flour to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes (or until golden), whisking frequently. Gradually add the half-and-half, whisking constantly - the mixture may look lumpy at first, but it will smooth out. Stir in the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the soup and continue simmering until the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Turn off the heat under the pot and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or, if you don't have one, in a traditional blender - you'll probably want to do it in a few batches.)

Set the pot over medium-low heat and gradually add the cheese to the soup, whisking constantly to melt and incorporate. Adjust the seasoning to taste then serve.


  1. Living in OOLT is no excuse!!! It is way too close to our state's fourth largest city for that to be an excuse for not getting delicious cheese! Think about Greenlife, Earthfare, and Fresh Market! They have beautiful cheese! that being said...I'm cheap so I buy lots of shredded cheese, generally whatever brand is the cheapest that week. I'll blame it on being a poor college kid lol

  2. Well, you're right about Greenlife, etc. I forgot about those because we didn't reguluarly grocery shop there!

    But actually, the Publix, once they built it, didn't have a bad selection either.

    Dayton, though... not so much.

    So I revoke my earlier comments :)