Let’s Get Cookin’: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I know, I know. It’s kind of been really really nice the past few days and the last thing on all our minds is winter comfort foods. However, since I know that chilly weather will make its way back around I figured I’d give you time to pull the ingredients together and plan your menu accordingly because today I’m sharing a recipe for one of my absolute favorite soups…

BC

While I absolutely have loved having my own kitchen to cook and experiment in, and a sweet husband who tries every last concoction I throw his way, I must admit, I miss the eating out. I could easily eat every single meal out. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. I wouldn’t even miss the fight to get my pots and pans out of their hiding places. Since getting married and joining the world of actual budgeting, we’ve seriously cut down on our eating out, as in, we hardly ever do it. And let me tell you, I sure do crave those weekly (ok, bi-weekly) trips to McAlisters and Panera. ((FYI- the first time Clint and I ever spoke was when he worked at McAlisters in high school. He asked to re-fill my sweet tea, I said yes, the rest is history 🙂 )) Anyway, at both places my absolute fav. is the broccoli cheddar soup. Since it’s been absent from my life for the past few months I decided I was going to give a whack at it myself. I won’t lie, it’s not as good (which I think is mostly because I can’t seem to find those darn bread bowls!), but it is really darn good. So, here is broccoli cheddar soup.

BCsoup

What you’ll need:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped (I typically do half a small onion, I’m not much of an onion person, and I honestly can’t stand cutting the things!)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
Salt and Pepper for seasoning to taste
4 cups of broccoli florets (approx. 1 head)
1 large carrot, julienne
2 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups sharp yellow cheddar cheese

Let’s get cookin’:
-Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
-Add the onion and cook until tender (4-5 min)
-Whisk in the flour, cook until golden (3-4 min)
-Gradually whisk in half-and-half
-Add chicken broth, bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
-Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened (Approx. 20 min)
-Add broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender (Approx. 20 min)
-Discard the bay leaves (You’d be surprised how long those things can take to find at times!)
-[[Alternative step:: If you don’t want chunks of broccoli and carrot but rather specks, you can toss the soup into a blender and hit puree for a quick second or two, then return to the pot. Or if you have an immersion blender you can stick that right in the top and give it a spin around. If you do want the chunks of broccoli then just go right on ahead skipping this step.]]
-Raising the heat to medium, add the cheese to the soup, whisking in gradually and allowing to melt.
-I tend to let ours simmer for a good 10-15 after adding the cheese to really let it thicken up, but you can serve it right away if that’s how you’d like it. Also, if it gets too thick, you can add up to 3/4 cup of water to thin it out a bit.

-Enjoy!!

Let me know if you try it and
how it turns out at your dinner table!

And if any of you find bread bowls
drop me a comment and let me know where!

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