Broccoli Cheddar Soup

October 2, 2018 by Nicole Collins

Soup season is upon us!

I so love that I'm a soup eater now. I don't even know what I was thinking back in the day when I used to be a soup hater.

I was at the local Renaissance festival this past weekend, and I totally got sucked in and bought these amazing stoneware soup mugs. If you've ever been to a Renaissance festival (Renn fest is what we call it in Maryland), you know there are tons of vendors selling amazingly gorgeous stuff that is not one bit practical. At least not practical for everyday 2018 Maryland life.

There are flowers crowns, and costumes, and masks, and swords, and jewelry, and all kinds of one of a kind stuff that you can buy. The problem is that these items are usually sold at a premium cost, too.

Well, we found this stoneware stand that was selling incredible beautiful bowls, plates, vases, canisters, etc...all kinds of stuff. Most of the time, when you see items like this at Renn fest, the items are just for decoration. I had my eyes on these totally pretty bowls that I could envision holding endless servings of French Onion Soup, so I had to ask the shop owner if they were food safe. And, guess what? They were! They're also dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. DING, DING, DING!

And, they were a decent price, too!

Those pretty bowls really are huge, so I haven't quite figured out what will be the first food that will be lucky enough to live in the bowls for a few mins. But, those pretty bowls definitely have soup at the top of my list on my mind, that's for sure.

I pretty much just want all of the soup right now. Though it hasn't officially become totally freezing yet in Baltimore, it's definitely cooling way down. We're talking high 50s and low 60s first thing in the morning and into the nighttime, and that is already too cold in my book.

Today, we're making a soup that I honestly don't eat that often. But, when I find myself craving it, there's nothing else that will satisfy the craving but a big ol' bowl of it.

So today, we're making Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

Broccoli cheddar soup is really pretty easy to throw together. Cook some broccoli in a pot of veggie stock, evaporated milk, and spices; blend everything together; stir in some shredded cheddar cheese; and you're ready to eat!

Seriously, trying to spell the word broccoli correctly on the first try is harder than making this soup! (Though I like to think I'm a pretty solid speller, I've always struggled with the word “broccoli”. What can I say?!?)

There are a couple of things to note about the base of this soup. 1. I chose to use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Since we're making a vegetable soup, I want to keep it in the family and use a veg stock. But, if chicken stock is what you have on hand; by all means, use it. 2. I use evaporated milk instead of regular milk or cream. Evaporated milk is just a little bit healthier for us, and it does a better job of holding together in soup. There's no fear of the fat in the milk breaking, and it still gives up a nice, creamy blend. 3. I like to use white cheddar instead of yellow cheddar. This point is totally an aesthetic thing, because the two cheeses taste almost exactly the same. I like the soft pop of white as opposed to the aggressive orange cheddar. Use whichever you prefer!

When it's time to blend the soup, I like to use an immersion blender, also known as a stick blender. It lets you blend everything together right in the original pot without having to transfer to a blender, dirtying up another dish. But, if you don't have an immersion blender, you can absolutely go the blender route. Just make sure you blend the soup in batches and you leave that little circular opening in the blender lid open. Otherwise, the hot liquid will explode in the blender, and nobody wants to deal with that literal hot mess.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup is such a classic soup, and everyone has their own method. But, my method is obviously the best! It's rich, and silky, and doesn't feel too heavy. Plus, my version is one of the healthier ones out there! Can't go wrong with that.

If anyone has any suggestions on what kind of soup I should make with my new soup bowls, please let me know! I want to hear what you guys love to eat!

But for now, let's eat!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Serves: 5-6 Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 carrot, shredded

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

  • ½ tsp paprika

  • ¼ cup flour

  • 4 cups chopped broccoli

  • 8 oz (one block) white cheddar, shredded

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. In a dutch oven or large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions and carrots, and saute for 3-5 mins, until softened. Add garlic, and saute for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add flour and stir to coat the veggies. Cook for 1 min. Add vegetable stock, evaporated milk, and paprika, and stir to mix. Bring to a simmer. Add broccoli, and bring back to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

  2. After 15 minutes, use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency. Alternately, you can very carefully run the soup through a blender, in batches, until you reach your desired smoothness. Add salt, pepper, and shredded cheese to the soup in the pot. Stir until the cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning (you may need to add an extra pinch of salt depending on the salt level of your veg stock). Remove from heat, and serve.

Recipe notes:

*This is the immersion blender I have. I think this is so much easier to use when blending soups, because you don't have to worry about transferring the soup back and forth to a blender.

*If you don't have an immersion blender and you'd prefer to blend your soup in a blender, make sure you leave the opening on the lid opened, and cover it with a kitchen towel while blending. Hot liquid in a blender could easily become a big ol' mess if you try to blend too much with no room for it to go.

*You can use any type of evaporated milk for this soup.

*This can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

*Chop your broccoli before you measure it to make sure you get the correct amount.

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