This is my second attempt at homemade broccoli & cheese soup, and this version was definitely the winner. The key to awesome homemade goodness in this soup boils down to three things (pun intended): equal parts chicken stock and half & half, a simple blonde roux, and the addition of a couple handfuls of chopped carrots.
Roux is a thickening agent made with flour and fat. The longer you cook it, the darker and “nuttier” in flavor it becomes. It also has less thickening power when it is darker. This recipe calls for blond roux which just means that you don’t cook it as long and so it’s lighter in color. In a previous post for mac & cheese, I advocated skipping the roux and just adding flour to the sauce mixture, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that with cream soups because they either won’t be thick enough or you have to add so much flour that it ends up grainy/tasting like flour. Ick!
If you have the patience / skills / tools to julienne carrots, that would work well this recipe. But if you’re like me and have no desire to spend all that time chopping perfect little slices of carrot, then a food processor works pretty well too. Just pulse a couple of times until carrots are pretty evenly chopped. Just don’t get carried away or you’ll end up with carrot puree which would not work well. :)
I love these cheese graters that have the little drawer. I got this one at ikea. I used a combination of white and yellow cheddar incase you are wondering why there are two different colors.
I used a potato masher to break up the big chunks of broccoli when they finished cooking. Alternatives would be to put all of it in a blender or not to do anything, depending on your personal preference.
When Jason saw this image of a hunk of bread in the soup he said “are you photoshopping bread into that soup?” No. I did not do that. That would be insane. I don’t see what he thinks looks weird but I promise that there was no bread-shopping. I guess I need to work on my food styling.
This soup was so good and I had it again for lunch a few days later, just reheated in the microwave. It was just as good.
Broccoli & Cheese Soup
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||1 hours, 55 minutes|
|Total time||2 hours, 5 minutes|
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups half & half
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2lb fresh broccoli
- 1/2 cup carrot (finely chopped or julienned)
- 8oz grated cheddar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
|1.||Saute onion in butter in stock pot until it starts to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Pour onions in dish until ready to use.|
|2.||Turn heat to medium-high. Make Roux by pouring melted butter in pan and adding flour, whisking vigorously for about a minute and a half until mixture starts to thin and bubble. Turn heat to low and cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.|
|3.||Add half & half to roux while stirring. Stir until mixed then add chicken stock. Turn up heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.|
|4.||Add broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes.|
|5.||Add salt and pepper. Mash mixture with a potato masher until large pieces of broccoli have been broken up. Add about a quarter cup of cheese at a time, stir until mixed then add more cheese until all cheese has been mixed in.|