It seems I’ve come a long way since I started blogging.  It used to be that I was very nervous to deviate from a recipe at all.  Omitting a half teaspoon of an ingredient?  I don’t know, it seems risky.  Haha!  Now after making a meal like this, I look back and see how far I have come.  I have always loved broccoli cheddar soup and was eager to try making it at home.  I happened to see a great photo of it on another blog, so I bought all the ingredients listed.  Only after I had started prepping dinner did I realize that everything about the methods of that recipe seemed off to me.  After reading through it multiple times, I decided to just throw out the recipe and come up with my own based on the ingredients I had around.

I am pleased to report it was a definite success, and apparently all this cooking and blogging I have done has taught me a thing or two.  This soup is just what I was hoping for – a nice thick, creamy soup with equal parts broccoli and cheddar flavor.  I added a dash of cayenne to the pot at the last minute, and Ben and I both really enjoyed the hint of spiciness it provided.  The only thing I’ll change next time will be to use shredded or matchstick carrots.  I just diced them up this time around because the food processor was dirty.  You can leave the soup chunky or puree it with an immersion blender for a smoother texture.  I went for a slightly pureed version, so it was mostly smooth but still had some chunks of vegetables.  A bowl of this soup with a honey yeast roll makes for a fabulous cold weather meal!

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp. butter, divided
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped or shredded
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. onion salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • 01

    In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the carrots to the pan and cook a couple minutes more.  Stir in the broccoli, chicken broth, onion salt and garlic powder.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

  • 02

    In a medium saucepan, melt remaining butter.  Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, whisking constantly.  Whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles, about 5 minutes.  Once the mixture has thickened, whisk in the cheese until completely melted.  Remove from the heat and add the cheese sauce to the soup pot.  Allow to simmer until warmed through and broccoli is tender.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  If desired, puree the soup with an immersion blender for a smooth texture.

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