Today was rainy. Very, very, wet and rainy. At first I was kind of disappointed because it was so warm a couple days ago and I loved having the sun shining and being able to wear short sleeved shirts without worrying about a jacket. I love Spring, it is my favorite season, but mostly I just love the sunshine of it, and the blooming flowers and green grass and trees, and the birds and because I love it so much I'll mention it again, the SUNSHINE. After a bit of accepting the fact that it was going to rain and I would just have to deal, my husband saved the day and my mood by suggesting we have soup for dinner.
We had some broccoli in the fridge that needed to be used (and I guess he decided afterall that he wasn't going to make Chinese style beef and broccoli with it), so he suggested I go to one of the fancy grocery stores on my way home from the hospital and get some good quality sharp cheddar and make broccoli cheddar soup tonight. Umm.... do you have to ask me twice? I love broccoli cheddar soup! And I love ANY excuse to shop at our local "gourmet" grocery store (this is Utah, where it can be VERY hard to find unique and high quality meats, cheeses and produce--you have to search for a bit, so when this store opened my foodie heart was THRILLED).
**Warning, blatant tangent begins here** Seriously, people, I could get myself into serious trouble here.... they have a cheese counter, totally dedicated to high quality cheeses, and a nice bakery with yummy artisan bread, a fantastic seafood counter, and a meat department with all kinds of amazing meat options. The produce department is huge, and everything is ripe and the right color (I know, that sounds weird to be excited about, but it's hard to find here sometimes), and you can get all kinds of different ethnic foods and things. I could spend hours and lots of money at this place if I am not careful.
So... back to our regularly scheduled blog post... the soup. I've tried making this before and to be honest, while it was good, it wasn't great. I tried too many variations and should have stuck more to the basic idea of the recipe. So here is the new version, and I hope you like it.
Cheddar Broccoli Soup
2 15 oz cans of low sodium chicken broth or stock (about 4 cups)
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 c all purpose flour
8 oz good sharp cheddar cheese, grated (trust me guys, its worth getting the good stuff--the flavor is oh so much better)
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets, and stems chopped up fine
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, finely diced
pinch cayenne pepper, and black pepper
1/2 c milk
In a medium saucepan, melt butter and then add onions. Saute onions in butter til soft and translucent. Stir in flour, and mix til flour is absorbed into butter and all is combined well. Add chicken broth or stock, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, and then add your cheese and half the broccoli, and all of the carrots. Simmer for about 15 minutes, and then add the rest of your broccoli. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, and then serve hot with more cheese on top and if you like, a dollop of sour cream. We ate ours with sliced roasted garlic artisan bread.
P.S. I realize this post got kind of long. I guess I have been needing to blog for awhile, and I had a lot to blab on about today. Sorry! Hope the recipe is worth the random babble. If not, feel free to skip the babble and go straight to the recipe--it's a good one, I promise.