Ahhh, don’t you just love fall? I like it when the sun is warm but there is a crisp breeze, perfect weather for cozy sweaters, skinny jeans, cute boots…or hoodies and yoga pants. Depends on the day.
I enjoy making soups in the fall. It’s the perfect time for chili, butternut squash soup, pot roast in the crock pot. One thing I’ve never made (or even eaten, that I can remember) is broccoli cheese soup. Actually, I think I might’ve tasted that Campbells cream of crap stuff once. It was all gooey and slimy and gross. I can’t do that stuff. Yuck. But I ran across this recipe while poking around (probably on Pinterest), and it just sounded yummy. One of my FAVORITE ways to eat broccoli is to roast it in the oven. When it gets just a little brown and crispy and it crunches when I eat it…omgyum. Kinda like kale chips, now that I think of it.
Anyway, I’m getting off track. So I took that recipe and had to tweak it just a bit. Rarely do I follow directions exactly as they are given. Hmm, that could explain a lot of things for me. So here is the recipe as I interpreted it:
- 1 large bunch broccoli, cut into florets (My broccoli didn’t look like enough, so I threw in a few frozen pieces as well. Maybe your broccoli bunch will be bigger than mine was.)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- another 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- a few dashes of dried Italian seasonings
- 3 cups chicken broth (most of a cardboard container)
- 1 1/2 cups aged cheddar, shredded*** (see note below)
- 1 cup milk (I just used skim)
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (this could go either way – taste a bit in a bowl before you put it in)
***Cheese note – I did NOT go cheap here. I wanted a good, quality soup, so I splurged on deli cheese. Think $14 per pound. Yes. And it tasted every bit of $14 per pound. I was NOT putting some Kraft mess in my fabulous soup. Next time I will probably not go so rich, but it is definitely worth getting a good, decent cheese for the soup. Shred it yourself, don’t be lazy. Oh, and that 1 1/2 cups is just an estimate. I didn’t measure it at all. I grated my cheese until the grater was pretty much full and my arm was tired.
- Toss the broccoli florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Roast the broccoli in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Check it at 20 to make sure it doesn’t burn!
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and seasonings and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the broth and broccoli, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with a stick blender, or a good container blender if you have one. Make sure you vent it so you don’t explode hot soup everywhere. Not that I’ve ever done that….ahem, next step…
- Mix in the milk and cheese, let the cheese melt and season with salt and pepper, and dijon mustard if you like.
This was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever made, especially on the first try. Hubs and I LOVED it, and Hut ate it (who knows what she likes and what she doesn’t, at least she’s obedient when it comes to food). KK…well he hated it. And I was actually glad because it meant more for me! So I cleaned his bowl of soup. 😉
If you try it, please comment back and let me know what you thought! My low-key family chose to eat it with oyster crackers. I’m a little snobbier and would’ve preferred a little crusty bread or even a baguette, but we had none in the house. Oh well. I can pretend to be fancy in my mind – oyster crackers it is.