As soon as we have a few crisp fall mornings, I start craving soups. As I have said before, soup is my favorite meal and I love finding especially hearty and soul-comforting soups to share with you. So today I bring you roasted broccoli and cheddar soup.
A couple of weeks ago I had some fresh broccoli that really needed to be cooked, but I didn’t have anything else to cook it with. I was already in my pjs for the night — because the very first thing I do upon arriving at home is put on my pajamas…can I get an “Amen?” — and I really didn’t want to go to the store. I happened to have a carton of heavy cream left over and decided to try my hand at broccoli soup. It turned out delicious and I can’t wait for the first snow day this winter so I can put some on in the crock-pot while we play in the cold! You can serve this soup with crackers, crusty French bread, or even corn bread would be great.
- 4 cups of fresh broccoli florets
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1-2 minced garlic cloves
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 2 TBSP butter, divided
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
- ½ cup buttermilk (optional)
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Melt 1 TBSP of butter, chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces, toss in the butter and place in a bar pan/cookie sheet in a single layer. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat oven to 425F and roast until tender and lightly charred in places. While the broccoli is roasting, melt 1 TBSP of butter in stock pot, add the onions and let cook 2-3 minutes until opaque. Add the garlic and carrots and cook another 2-3 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook until lightly browned. Add the cream and buttermilk and whisk until smooth. If you don’t have or like buttermilk, just use ½ cup more cream, but buttermilk really adds a special twang to recipes, so give it a try! Add chicken stock, bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium-low for about 30 – 40 minutes; stir often, being careful to not let the bottom scorch. Discard bay leaves. Add broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes.
At this point you can either put some of the soup and veggies in a blender and puree or use an immersion blender in the stock pot to puree. You can also skip this step altogether depending on how thick you want it and how small you want your veggie pieces to be. Sometimes I just don’t want to clean another kitchen appliance so I skip this step! Add cheese and stir until melted. Garnish with more cheese and pepper flakes.