here's the problem with broccoli-cheddar soup: it always has something nasty in it. velveeta. cream of chicken soup. finding a really good broccoli-cheddar soup is hard.
but i found one.
and then, i added to it. and i thought i'd share the recipe with you.
ready for a brocoli-cheddar soup FULL of veggies and only 2 cups of half and half? (okay, not a selling point, but at least you know that half and half is a food, right? whereas cream of chicken soup is really just some processed chemicals dwelling in a can)
1 T butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 c. half and half
2 1/2 c. milk (i recommend whole milk)
6 c. chicken broth
1 lb fresh broccoli, chopped
2 c.carrots, chopped
2 c. spinach
2 c. potatoes, chopped
1 c. zucchini, chopped
2 c. cauliflower
salt and white pepper, to taste
1 lb. cheddar cheese (we prefer strong)
1. saute onion in butter until translucent and soft, about 3-4 minutes. remove from pan. melt remaining half cup of butter, add flour, stir together for about 3-5 minutes. it'l become like dough at the bottom of your pan, but it's supposed to. add the half and half slowly. keep stirring. add the chicken broth. let simmer for 15 minutes.
2. add your vegetables. you can add as many as fit in your soup. if there is not enough room, you might have to pick and choose. you know it's the right amount of vegetables/soup when they're all completely covered and you can stir the soup without trouble. if you need more liquid, add more chicken broth or milk. cook over low for 120 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. add your salt and white pepper. the soup should be a lot thicker now.
3. if you have an immersion blender you're the luckiest cook in the world. use it. if you're like me, haul out the food processor and begin to get this soup in batches. i cheat. i don't puree all the soup. i puree all the vegetables. so i get a measuring cup out and go fishing. it's a little messy.
i serve the soup with the cheese on the side so it makes less of a mess.
also, i think you could add just about any mild-tasting vegetable to this soup and no one will be the wiser. whatever is in season, i think.