Cheesy Broccoli Soup
I told you we’d be having a lot of soup, the past few weeks and yes, we’re still at it. This time around it’s a very cheesy broccoli soup, and this is one of my all time favorites. It’s got plenty of broccoli and cheese, of course, but it also, strangely, doesn’t need much of the way in seasoning. It’s one of those soups that just, plain, stands for itself.
They key, of course, is the cheese. I like using Gouda and sharp cheddar, which gives a nice lovely flavor without overwhelming the broccoli, but you can indeed use all cheddar or just about anything that seems to fit your mood on a given day. And apart from the little bit of bay leaves (and the celery and carrots), there is no other seasoning required for this soup. That’s because good fresh broccoli provides really all the flavor you could ask for.
Honestly, guys, THIS is the soup you’ve been waiting for.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped small
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 2-3 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 8 cups chicken broth (or use vegetable stock)
- 2 bay leafs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds broccoli or 5 cups broccoli florets and stems, chopped small
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 8-10 ounces (about 2 1/2 - 3 cups) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and adjust seasoning if needed, but err on the cautious side with the salt because the cheese will add a bit.
- Puree the soup to fine. Return to the stove, add cheese and whisk until melted, about 1 minute.
- Serve in bowls, garnished with a pinch of cheese.