Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lighter broccoli potato cheddar soup

A perfect Monday night:

Rain turned to snow.  Work clothes swapped for sweats.

Adios, brothy mushy vegetable soups. 

Hello, thick and velvety broccoli cheddar potato soup in 30 minutes!

Potatoes, broccoli,...and cheese!

Goodbye, traditional dinner seating.  Greetings, comfortable couch!

So long, intelligent conversation.  Good evening, trashy TV (Bachelor)! :)

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup
(with some changes from here)

A few notes: Regarding the green stuff, I used a 2-pound bag of frozen broccoli, cooked and drained the day before, and stored it in a sealed container in the fridge overnight.  If using fresh, you might need to cook a bit longer.  Also, if you don't have an immersion blender, though I recommend it, feel free to use a standard blender, just blend 1 cup portions of the soup at a time, taking care to vent the steam occasionally.

1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 carrot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 celery stalk, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable)
1 cup milk
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced small
Ground black pepper
4 cups broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Chop onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in a mini food processor (or finely chop manually).  In a large stock pot over low heat, melt butter and cook vegetables until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until smooth.

Add chicken broth, milk, potatoes, and adjust heat to high until soup comes to a boil.  Cover and cook until potatoes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add Parmesan cheese, broccoli, and stir well.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.  Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes.  Add cheddar cheese, stir well until melted and remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, quickly blend part of the soup until desired consistency is reached.  (I like some bits of broccoli in my soup, but if you like yours super smooth, keep blending.)  Serve with crusty bread and top with additional cheese, if using.

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