Kitchen Bitch

Cooking in the Kitchen with Sass & Class

Winter Favorites: Broccoli-Cheese Soup February 8, 2011


Broccoli-Cheese Soup does a body good.

Of the hundreds of ways we like to eat broccoli, I’m guessing broccoli with cheese sauce tops most people’s lists. But it’s broccoli-cheese soup that takes the proverbial cake, at least in my book. It’s got lots of fresh broccoli, plenty of tummy-filling cheese, and that comforting homey warmth of a cold night by a hot fire.

It all started when I saw broccoli on sale for 59 cents a pound at my local fruit market, I sorted through the pile for the best specimens, shoved them in a bag, thanked the cashier and skipped out the door—overjoyed at having purchased the magic ingredient I didn’t even know I was looking for. My recent batch of homemade chicken stock was looking for a partner, and I knew right away that the two would be a match made in heaven. It was time for some serious soup, and I wasn’t even going to glance at a recipe.

 

My homemade chicken stock waiting for its new partner on the stovetop

Since I had planned on making soup, I already had all the supplies with me when I got snowed into my house during the blizzard of the century last week. What’s a girl to do when she’s stuck all alone in her house during Chicago’s craziest blizzard in years? Well, drink beer, of course. And catch up on old Netflix movies that have been sitting under the TV for weeks. Or take hot baths and eat too much ice cream (or both). Drink more beer. And last, but certainly not least, make soup. Lots of it. Enough to feed way more people (6 to 8 ) than there are in your house (1), because you’re going to be sharing it with friends for the rest of the week.

Soups definitely rank up there on my list of favorite things to make, and it’s a great starting point for those folks who want to start making up their own recipes. (I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who pretend to read the recipe and then ignore it completely. I’m looking at you, Mom. But to each their own, and that’s why cooking is so great.) Many vegetable-based soups start the same way—sweat prepared veggies in oil or butter; add roux or flour if using; stir in liquid and seasonings; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; simmer until flavors meld and blend and vegetables are soft but not mushy; and then puree, add cream and serve, or serve as it, chunky and delicious.

So now that you know the secret, go ahead and make up your own broccoli-cheese soup. Just kidding … I wouldn’t leave you without one of my trusty recipes, now would I? As usual, play with this recipe to make it your own. Like the snow-covered world outside my door, soup is a blank canvas just waiting to be painted into something truly special.

Broccoli-Cheese Soup
This soup is perfect for a cold winter’s night. For extra thickening power, add a diced potato to the pot when you add the broccoli florets. Serves 6 to 8. Click here to download a copy of this recipe.


4 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 pounds fresh broccoli
2 sweet onions, diced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 heaping Tbs. flour
6-8 c. chicken stock, preferably homemade
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Heavy cream, if desired
Sour cream, for garnish
Julienne of red pepper, for garnish

Prep broccoli. Separate the stalk from the florets. Chop the stalks into small dice and separate the florets into 1-inch pieces.

 

Divide broccoli into stems and florets

Sauté veggies. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter. Add the broccoli stems, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent, and then add the garlic. Sauté 1 minute more. Add the florets to the pot and sauté until they are also coated with butter.

 

Saute the stems and onions

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and stir until they are all well coated. Sauté 1 minute more, and then add enough hot stock to the pot to cover the veggies. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the soup simmer until the florets are tender.

 

Sprinkle flour over veggies

Cook flour-coated veggies a few minutes longer

Add stock and simmer until the florets are tender

Puree and add cheese. Remove the soup from the heat and let cool for several minutes before pureeing it with a stick blender. Season lightly with salt and pepper. If the soup is a bit too thin, return it the stovetop to simmer for a few more minutes; however, it will thicken it a bit once the cheese is added. Add a splash of cream to the soup, if desired. Then add the shredded cheese to the soup in several small batches, stirring each addition well. Season the soup to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Serve warm garnished with sour cream and julienned red pepper if desired.

 

Puree the soup and add cream if desired

The pureed soup

Add cheese in batches

Broccoli-cheese soup waiting to warm your stomach

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11 Responses to “Winter Favorites: Broccoli-Cheese Soup”

  1. Beth Says:

    Oh my gosh that looks heavenly!! I loooove broccoli cheddar soup, especially in a bread bowl.

    And isn’t a stick blender the best thing, ever?

  2. Ok I am definitely making this! (crediting you of course!) Be on the look out for a shout-out on my bloggy sometime soon!

  3. Sooo I did actually make it. Last night as a matter of fact. And let me just tell you, my boyfriend said it was the best thing I have ever cooked!!! Amazing!! Thank you for the recipe, definitely saving it 🙂

  4. […] Posted on March 6, 2011 by Jessica @ Dishin' About Nutrition I have to thank my girl over at The Kitchen Bitch for this recipe that I adapted. Corey said it was the BEST thing I have ever made! Score! This also […]

  5. […] This blog has become much more to me than just a food journal, creative outlet or fun side project. The people that I have met through doing this, the people I follow and look forward to reading their blogs everyday inspire me in so many ways. For example Carrie, at Moves and Munchies, may be all the way over on the other side of the pond, but she has inspired me to open up and not be afraid to talk about controversial subjects like she has with her eating disorder series. And Mavis, at The Kitchen Bitch, always has fabulous recipes that challenge the wannabe cook in me to experiment with recipes like her mushroom tofu gratin and her ground venison burgers. My boyfriend still says one of his favorite meals I’ve ever made was her broccoli and cheese soup! […]

  6. serge Says:

    just made it. OMG. i would kill for this soup! soooo yamii. big respect to the poster!!! ❤

  7. I’m more than happy to find this website. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and I have you book marked to look at new information on your website.


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