Sunday, December 19, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Its the last weekend before Christmas and its been raining for the past 3 days. We had planned a trip to Disneyland and the rain has, for lack of a better word, dampened our plans. So we stayed local and have kept busy by attending one of my nephew's birthday party and did our last-minute Christmas shopping. I'm pooped, its rainy and cold, and I wanted to have something to warm me up inside.

Last week, our office had a holiday luncheon at BJ's Brewery. I had a half-sandwich and a bowl of Broccoli Cheddar soup. Yummy. I have large bags of broccoli and shredded cheese that I bought from Costco that I could use, so I searched for a good recipe for Broccoli Cheddar soup and found this recipe from CD Kitchen. I've never tried anything from Panera Bread, but this is a copycat recipe of their Broccoli Cheese soup. This was a yummy comfort food that I'll definitely be making again. Its a great way to have your vegetables for the day.

1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 all purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half (I used 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream)
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb. fresh broccoli
1 cup julienned carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1) Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a stockpot. Saute chopped onions for about 2 minutes. Set aside.

2) In the same pot, add melted butter. Whisk in flour to make a roux and cook for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly add half-and-half. Add chicken broth. Simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes, whisking constantly.

3) Add onions, broccoli and carrots. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

4) Place mixture in a food processor or blender and puree (or you can use an immersion blender). Return mixture to the pot to heat. Add cheese and continue to cook on low heat until cheese has melted. Add nutmeg. Remove from heat and serve topped with more shredded cheese or croutons.

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