The days of soup

I’m a huge fan of soup. I’m not always very good at making the soup though. I was spending a lot of money on soup from Panera and Pacific foods up until about a month ago when I got tired of a tiny little Sylvi downing my entire $5 cup of soup before I even got back to the table. She and I had discovered the broccoli cheese soup and I was reduced to eating it either in secret or after she went to bed at night. On one such night, I realized I had a laughable problem: why was I behaving like this when I could just learn to make my own soup for a fraction of the cost?

I did a good deal of reading online before I set forth. I wanted a creamy soup and I must tell you that the answer I’d been looking for came in the form of an immersion blender. I had no idea how awesome that tool was when I bought it on a whim 3 years ago. My little red Cuisinart immersion blender had spent a lot of time in the kitchen drawer until I started making soup and realized how valuable it is. You could always make this in a regular blender, but let’s be honest: it’s way more fun with an immersion blender :)

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • half a stick of butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I did try this with vegetable broth and while it was very good… the chicken makes it the most like Panera’s soup.)
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 pound finely chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup shredded Monterary Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
Saute the onion until soft in a soup pot. Whisk together the melted butter and flour in the soup pot. Add the garlic and onion powder, whisk well and then stream in the stock. Add the milk, carrots and broccoli and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes and then reduce to a simmer. When the carrots and broccoli are tender, remove 2 cups worth of the vegetables and take the pot off the heat. Puree the remaining vegetables with an immersion blender and stir in the cheeses. Return the carrots and broccoli to the soup, mix through. Serve with crusty bread and revel in how much money you saved making it at home!
*** Are you looking for more soup recipes?  I made this Red Bell Corn Chowder from the fabulous Whitney Ingram last week. It’s from her original blog, Rookie Cookie and I’m so excited to find it her cook book that she’s working on right now! Follow the progress and drool-worthy updates here.

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