What’s not to love about broccoli?
First, it is not kale. (I rest my case.)
Second…no wait! Gimme a moment. I can think of something. Really.
Love it or hate it, nobody, it seems, takes a neutral position about broccoli. In fact, there are some very interesting theories why some people hate broccoli. It is not their fault. Here is an interesting link:
Nutrition scientists don’t mince words about broccoli’s nutritional benefits either . Broccoli, they remind us, is high in fiber, vitamins C and K, iron, and potassium and has more protein than most other vegetables. On top of that, a cup of broccoli has 31 calories. Wow!
So, the next time you have an opportunity to grab a fresh bunch of broccoli, why not make this wonderful rich soup?
This soup is touted on any number of sites as a “take” on Panera Restaurant’s broccoli cheese soup served in a bread bowl. That bread bowl concept sounds pretty good to me, but, absent a boule of bread appropriate for the occasion, I decided to serve this beautiful soup in a traditional bowl.
This soup is an adaptation of a recipe from an inspired blog named Averie Cooks. The link to the original recipe appears at the end of this post.
- 1 T. plus 4 T. unsalted butter (divided)
- 1 medium onion cut into small dice
- 1 clove garlic (diced)
- 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
- 2 C. vegetable broth
- 2 C. half and half
- 3 C. broccoli florets (diced into bite-sized pieces)
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced into thin rounds
- 3/4 t. salt (or to taste)
- 3/4 t. freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 t. smoked paprika (optional or to taste)
- 1/2 t, dry mustard powder (optional or to taste)
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces of high quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan. Sauté onion in the butter over medium heat for approximately five minutes while stirring intermittently. Onion should just be beginning to brown.
- Add garlic to the onion mixture and cook for about one more minute. Be careful that garlic doesn't burn. Set onion/garlic mixture aside.
- Using a large pan, melt 4 T. butter. Add flour and cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, whisking constantly. You want mixture to thicken.
- Slowly add vegetable broth to the butter mixture, whisking constantly. Then, slowly whisk half and half into the mixture. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until reduced and thickened. Whisk mixture occasionally.
- Add chopped broccoli, carrots and onion/garlic mixture to the roux. Add salt, pepper, optional paprika, optional dry mustard powder and optional cayenne.
- Simmer soup over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until it has reduced and thickened. Whisk while the soup is simmering. After simmering for 20-25 minutes, add most of the cheese. Stir until cheese has melted and is incorporated fully into the soup
- Garnish soup with reserved grated cheese and smoked paprika.
Here is the link to the original recipe: