Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Potage de la semaine: Cream of Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese Soup

I don't have time for soup du jour. There is no way I could pull off making soup everyday because my kids probably would complain about eating it.  They don't really like food that is mixed or blended together.  Everything is still separated on the plate, broccoli not to mingle with the rice and nothing touching the steak.  If you are a parent or a very picky adult, you understand.  But I do like a hot bowl of soup after a long day especially if it's already made and all I have to do is heat it up.  If there is a big hunk of crusty bread for dipping, so much the better.  So, in an effort to create some comfort for myself, I resolve to make soup at least once a week.  Well, at least this week.  We will have to see if I get bored with this idea and move on to another Big Plan come Friday (today is only Tuesday).  Until then, I give you:

Cream of Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese Soup
(Serves 6)
6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup AP flour
2 cups whole milk, warm
3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper
4 cups broccoli florets (about one large head)
1 large carrot, diced
2 1/2 cups (about 8 oz) grated sharp cheddar cheese (mix yellow and white)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash Worcestershire sauce

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in flour and cook until golden.  Gradually whisk in warm milk until smooth.  Add chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg.  Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to med/low-low and cook uncovered until thickened (about 20 minutes).
Add the broccoli and carrot to the soup mixture.  Simmer until tender (about 20 minutes).  Discard bay leaves.  Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.  Add the grated cheese to the soup and stir until melted.  Add Dijon mustard and Worcestershire.  Stir to combine.  If soup is too thick, add more chicken stock. 

Another delightful addition to the meal:

Fresh Chive Butter
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
dash Tabasco sauce
dash cider vinegar
1 small bunch fresh chives, chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)

Puree butter, salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce and cider vinegar in a Kitchen Aid with paddle attachment.  Add chives.  Combine thoroughly.  Slather on fresh bread and enjoy.

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