Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wonderful Recipe Wednesday - Broccoli & Cheese Soup

It is no secret that I love soup.  It is probably no secret that I also love easy recipes with ingredients I have on hand for the most part.  Enter, Peas & Crayons sketch free broccoli and cheese soup.  Honestly, I am a sucker for a slow-cooker soup recipe so it took me a little while to tackle this recipe but, boy am I glad I did.  Because you know what?  This recipe is pure heaven!

Seriously, it tastes just like Panera's broccoli cheese soup.  Plus it was E-A-S-Y to make even though the directions sound a little complicated.  The prep work does take a little time but I promise the end result is worth it.

My only complaint...  The recipe only makes 3-4 bowls.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing since you do get at least one leftover meal but I prefer to have a few lunches leftover when I make soup.

Looks delicious, right?? 
I really need to work on my photography skills.  Or maybe I just need to show some restraint since I am always in such a hurry to eat and forget to take pictures!  ;)
one bunch of fresh broccoli
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, plus plenty extra for topping
1 heaping cup of regular gouda cheese [freshly grated, rind removed]
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 small white onion
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup half and half [or heavy cream]
3 TBSP all purpose flour
3 TBSP butter
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp salt [will vary based on salt content of your stock/broth]
a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
(She had 1/8 tsp of all spice but I didn't have any on hand so I left it out.  Still yummy!)
Jenn at Peas & Carrots has lots of little tips and tricks to ensure your soup comes out perfectly.  I HIGHLY recommend checking them out here.
If you feel pretty comfortable in your soup making skills, here are trimmed down directions:
1.  Clean and chop/dice/shred veggies. 
2.  Add vegetable stock to a pot on med-high heat.  Add broccoli, onion, carrots, garlic and bay leaf.  Simmer on medium for about 15-20 mins.  (Get the veggies nice and tender!)
3. Once the broth is done, it is time to start the roux.  (Don't be intimidated, it is actually relatively easy!)  In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Once melted, slowly add flour while continuing to whisk. 
4.  Remove from heat and slowly pour in broth.  Stir to incorporate. 
5.  Add veggies and slowly stir in half & half.
6.  Return to burner on low heat and remove bay leaf.
7.  Add seasonings - garlic powder, ground nutmeg, dried basil, cayenne pepper
8.  Once the soup has warmed back up, stir in grated cheeses and remove from heat immediately.

This is a must make soup this winter!  I hope you enjoy it as much as the hubby and I did!

If you love tomato soup, check Jenn's recipe out here!  I can't wait to try it out! 


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