Broccoli cheddar soup is an excellent lunch or light dinner solution that combines the healthfulness of broccoli with the richness of a creamy cheese base. Keep the calorie count low by serving the soup with a small salad or grilled meat. To prepare a more substantial meal, use the soup as an appetizer and follow with broiled poultry or fish, and a crusty French bread. The following recipe, which serves four, takes only about 30 minutes to prepare. After the ingredients are combined, you can let it simmer or save it, and reheat when ready to eat.
Things You'll Need
- 12 oz. broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped
- 1 oz./2 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small potato, cut into chunks
- 2 1/2 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
- Salt and ground black pepper
Break any tough stems from the broccoli crowns and discard the stems. Set aside two small florets to serve as a garnish for the finished dish. Melt the butter in a large, heavy casserole dish or skillet and cook the onion until it is soft, but not browned. If you want the soup to have a bit of a stronger flavor, you can add two leeks at this point. They should be cleaned and chopped (white parts only). Add the broccoli and the potato--you can keep the skin on the potato or peel it off, depending on your preference. Pour the chicken or vegetable stock over the broccoli, potatoes and onions. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Once the vegetables in the soup are soft, cool the combination slightly. Pour all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve. Rinse the pan clean and return the strained mixture to the pan. Add the milk and the heavy cream to the mixture. Season to taste with salt and paper. Reheat the soup gently. Just before you're ready to serve the soup, add the cheese, stirring until it melts. Do not boil the soup once the cheese has been added.
To finish your broccoli cheddar meal, blanch the few broccoli florets you reserved in the beginning of the process. Cut them vertically into thin slices. If you're serving other foods as well, once you're ready to eat, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish the top with the sliced broccoli florets. Grind black pepper on top of the soup for added flavor. If you want a heartier soup, you can add either canned cannellini beans or dried beans that have been soaked and cooked, at the point where the soup is returned to the pan after blending. Whichever recipe direction you choose, you'll wind up with a perfect, easy-to-make complement to snuggling by the fire on cool autumn and winter evenings.
Tips & Warnings
- You can substitute almost any kind of cheese for cheddar in this recipe. Remember that the longer a cheese is aged, the more flavorful it will be. Other suggestions are Stilton, Parmesan and prima donna.
How to Make Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese is a semi-hard, yellow-orange cheese that varies in sharpness. It is named after an English village called Cheddar and is...
How to Make Homemade Broccoli-Cheddar Cheese Soup
Broccoli-cheddar cheese soup is a staple at many restaurants because it is such a tasty comfort food. Luckily it isn't difficult to...
How to Freeze Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Homemade soups tend to hold up well in the freezer because you don’t have to worry about maintaining the texture of the...
How to Can Broccoli Soup
Preserve home-made broccoli soup and enjoy it all year long. Adding just a few extra steps after the initial soup preparation by...
How to Reheat Macaroni & Cheese in a Crock Pot Slow Cooker
That big batch of macaroni and cheese you made last night left plenty of leftovers. You could reheat the dish on the...
How to Keep Cheese From Clumping in Soups
Cheese added to a soup can clump if the chef is not careful. If the cooking temperature is too high or the...
A Recipe for Easy Broccoli Soup
Broccoli soup is easy to make and uses chicken broth among other ingredients. Make easy broccoli soup with help from a head...
Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
A broccoli cheddar soup recipe tastes great with sauted onions and garlic ingredients. Enjoy this broccoli cheddar soup with help from a...