Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Today they’re saying it feels like -5º in NYC today.  On days like this there is absolutely nothing better than a creamy bowl of cheesy soup while bundled under blankets and watching TV.  This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is total comfort food, but I love that the additions of the sherry and mustard add a unique flavor that will keep things interesting.

I’m not going to lie, this soup isn’t exactly a health food.  Usually I make low cal soups that I can help myself to for several days on end.  However in this case, it was so frickin cold outside so I was like “screw it”.  I did try my hardest to make this Broc Ched Soup the healthiest possible way though; I used only a little bit of butter and flour and half-and-half instead of cream.  The problem was the cheeeeeeese.  All that ooey gooey sharp cheddar that just meltssss everywhere.  But whatever… I deserve a little cheese in my life!

I started this out as a traditional broccoli cheddar soup, but then I found a soup recipe that called for some dry sherry in it, so I tried it!  It certainly added a depth of flavor and cut the heavy cheese flavor a little.  It gave an oaky and earthy flavor to the soup that’s usually just straight cheese.  I liked it!  But if you’re hoping for a more classic-tasting soup then feel free to leave it out.

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups broccoli florets, steamed and chopped into bitesize pieces
  • 12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 carrot, chopped finely
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)

Directions:

Before starting, steam broccoli for 5 minutes until tender.  In a large stock pot, heat the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions and carrot and sauté until onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.  Add the flour and combine completely, and continue cooking for another minute or two.  While whisking, add in the vegetable stock and then the half-and-half.  Make sure you are whisking to prevent any lumps.  Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, mustard, and sherry.  Then, add the cheese slowly until completely melted.  Add the steamed broccoli.  Continue cooking for 10 minutes, then serve in bowls topped with additional cheddar cheese.

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