Although I have been a super lazy blogger lately, I have been cooking! The urge to share it has returned!
- 3/4 cup butter (12 T) butter
- 2 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup all purpose four
- 4 cups (1 quart) half-and-half (fat free version is optional depending on what you news year's resolution was)
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I also added one cube of chicken bouillon for an added richness in the flavor)
- 4 bay leaves
- Kosher salt (I didn't need any) and freshly ground pepper
- 8 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves) (If you are wanting to eat fewer carbs, you can always use normal bowls)
- 6 cups broccoli florets (about 1 1/2 heads)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 stock of celery chopped finely
- 2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- 4 ounces cream cheese
I used my food processor and grated all the vegetable except the broccoli. I then gave it a little rinse and used it to grate the cheese. This made it really quick and easy!
The original recipe calls for the soup to be pureed, however I enjoyed having some variance in texture. So grate everything small instead of chopping and avoid the pureeing.
The broccoli is kind of the star of the show, and thus should not be grated. I chopped half of it very fine to enhance the flavor of the soup, and left some of it a bit bigger to give a chunkier texture to the soup.
*If you decided not to use bread bowls, I think some cubed potato would be another yummy and nutritious addition.
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth.
Add the chicken broth, and bay leaves, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.
Add the broccoli, carrots, and celery to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
Gradually mix the cheese into the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.
Lastly, enjoy the warm richness of soup on a cold day, an seen above!