Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's For Dinner? - Broccoli Cheddar Soup

All of the leaves changing colors, falling to the ground and pleasantly crunching underfoot has me in the mood for soups and stews!  That's right, it's the season for hearty comfort foods once again and what's more comforting than broccoli cheddar soup?  Before getting too excited, I will preface this recipe by telling you that this is not for the busy, rushed or hurried. It is not a cheater/easy semi-homemade recipe.  Filled with creamy goodness and an abundance of fresh vegetables, this soup will leave you feeling all snuggly and warm inside. Perfect for a chilly autumn evening.


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups Half & Half
1 pound (about 2) russet potatoes, chopped but not peeled
1 pound (about 1 large) sweet potatoes, chopped but not peeled
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets (do not use frozen or they will be too liquidy)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


1.  Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high.  Add the onion and celery and while stirring, cook until softened.  Should be 5 minutes or so.
2.  Add the chicken broth, Half & Half, both types of potatoes, bay leaves, 2 cups of water, 1 tsp. of Kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. of pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender.  About 10 minutes.  In the meantime, put the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl, add 3 Tblsp. water and season with salt.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave 4 minutes and drain.

3.  When potatoes are tender, transfer to a blender or use an immersion wand inside the pot. Puree until smooth and return to pot.
4.  Return to a simmer on medium-low, stir in the broccoli and add any extra salt or pepper you'd like.
5.  Add the cheese and stir until melted.
6.  Ladle into soup bowls, serve with croutons or plain old Saltine crackers, and of course a glass of wine. This wasn't easy while trying to wrangle a 14-month old.  ENJOY!!!

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