Its amazing to me, even now, that I even wanted to make this soup - never mind the fact that I had been seriously craving it ever since we had our first snow (whimper) and never mind the fact that I absolutely loved it. Cause see - I used to hate broccoli, and I used to especially hate this soup.
As an adult, I have come to appreciate broccoli - even love broccoli. At some point in time, I even came to love Broccoli Cheddar soup. I think the first time I really gave it a chance was during my summer working at Quiznos. You would think having to take large frozen containers of this soup and defrost it every morning and stir it every hour and serve it to a million and one people would actually make me hate it. But somehow it had the opposite effect and my horizons were broadened (I know I know, at a fast food restaurant!).
Of course, I have since learned that Broccoli Cheddar Soup can be a million times better than that stuff I had to take out of the freezer every morning, and it doesn't have to be complicated either. This soup is absolutely perfectly delicious. Not only that - it is super simple to make and doesn't have any heavy cream or "real cheese" (as we lovingly call the blocks of processed gooey orange stuff). It is filling and comforting and only requires a few inexpensive ingredients, which might just make it the perfect comfort food.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1 head of Broccoli (approx 500g) chopped into very small florets
2 to 4 Tbs butter
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 2 cups diced onion)
3 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
salt and fresh coarse-ground black pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk (I used 1.5 percent)
1/2 cup flour
3 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, finely shredded (do not use pre-shredded cheese!!)
In a heavy stockpot, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the diced onion and a couple pinches of salt and saute until the onions are very tender and just beginning to brown - around 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and plenty of black pepper and let cook for about one minute. Stir in the broccoli and let cook for another minute or so.
Add the broth and raise heat just a tad, stir well then cover and let come to a slow boil. Let simmer, covered, for around 5 to 10 minutes or until broccoli just starts to become tender.
Whisk the flour into the milk, making sure no clumps or grains remain. Slowly stir this into the soup. Reduce heat to medium-low and continuously stir until soup has gotten nice and thick - around 3 to 5 minutes.
Reduce heat again, to low, and stir in the cheese by the handful, stirring until all the cheese is melted into the soup. Taste and salt/pepper as necessary (or even more cheese!). Stir over low heat for just a minute or two more, then serve warm :)
PS - this was about the 10th time I tried making a broccoli cheese soup, each previous time being a total disaster, even when following someones recipe - grainy, too watery, cheese doesn't melt well, not broccoli enough, not cheesy enough and on and on. I finally figured out that simple is best, cheddar cheese is best, flour and milk are essential to get the right texture, and using pre-shredded cheese will result in a horrible grainy disgusting mess. You know, just to keep it real. But hey, I am learning!
I heart film. - A little over a year ago I bought a Canon Ae-1 and last week I found the first roll of film I shot on it and finally had it processed (Its been a crazy year ...