I love love cheese! And I love soup. So naturally I'd love a good ole creamy and cheesy Cheddar Broccoli soup!
It's not a difficult soup to make but it does require a little patience and attention. This is an easy soup to ruin if you're not paying close attention - especially when you're making the roux.
Prepare all of your ingredients before starting, that way you won't burn anything.
As you can see, I used more than cheddar - because I'm a cheese maniac. You can use just one type of cheddar, but whatever you do - please use high quality cheese. It's the life of the soup and it makes the world of difference.
If you don't have chicken stock, totally fine. I didn't when I made my most recent pot. I used one cube of chicken bouillon and shook it up in 2 cups of warm water. And don't worry if it doesn't all dissolve - it'll dissolve in the soup.
Heavy cream substitute? Half and half. Regular milk just won't thicken up the way you'd want for this soup.
Unsalted butter > salted butter. This soup requires very little seasoning because there's chicken stock and cheese. If you must use salted butter, you may wanna skip on adding salt to the soup.
Added seasonings. I added cayenne pepper, black pepper and regular iodized salt. You don't need to add any of these honestly, but these give the soup more depth and layers. Nobody wants a bland soup.
So if you're ready to impress some folk, or yourself, let's get it!
1 tablespoon + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 1 small yellow onion, finely diced 1 clove garlic, minced finely (I like to use a garlic press) 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (check my notes for the substitute for this) 2 cups heavy cream or half and half
2 to 3 cups chopped broccoli florets and stems 2 carrots, trimmed and peeled, diced into fine rounds 1/2 tsp salt - or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper - or to taste 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper - this is one I wouldn't omit ;) 8 ounces high quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
In a small nonstick pan over medium heat, saute onions in 1tbsp of butter. Cook for about 4 minutes or until onions are slightly brown and soft.
Add garlic and saute for no more than one minute. Stir continuously to prevent garlic from burning. Remove from heat.
In a dutch oven or large nonstick pot, add 4 tbsp of butter and add flour. Stir/whisk constantly - for about 6 minutes. Flour should be thickening up and a light brown color. This is called the roux and extremely important for your soup to be thick.
Gently pour in the chicken stock and milk and whisk until smooth. Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. (Check in a few times to stir, though!)
Add broccoli, carrots and sauteed herbs to the mixture. Season to taste and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes.
Stir in cheese and serve immediately.