Recipe: Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is an easy recipe for broccoli cheese soup made with real cheese and no canned soup. It can be simple to make healthy soup from scratch.

I bought some broccoli on impulse this week (better than my normal chocolate impulse) and needed to use it up today. I was short on a pantry item or two, so had to substitute, but the results were still really good!

Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup
Serves six

Broccoli–enough to make four to six cups of bite-sized piece. I had two stalks I cut up.
1/4 c butter
1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large heavy pot. Over medium heat, sprinkle in flour and whisk for two minutes. This makes a roux that should look and smell toasty.

Slowly add milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly. I add the liquid in very slowly to prevent lumps. Bring just shy of a boil, still whisking, then reduce to a simmer. If the soup boils once you’ve added the milk, it could separate.

In a separate pot, bring several quarts of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook for two minutes.

While the broccoli is cooking, whisk the two cups of shredded cheddar cheese into the soup pot.

When the broccoli is done, drain and add to soup. Simmer for five minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread.

If using frozen broccoli, follow package directions. Don’t overcook the broccoli. You are going for tender-crisp, not soggy.  Over-cooking makes it skunky and unappealing.

Add in other cheeses you have on hand. I threw in a 1/2 cup of mozzarella I was trying to use up and about a 1/4 cup of real Parmesan cheese I grated into the pot. You can even use cheese that has dried out a little.

In a pinch you can use *shudder* Velveeta. My family loves that, but I worry about their arteries. And Velveeta is expensive! I get real cheese on sale with coupons for a song and store the surplus in the freezer.I’m using up the last of my fifty-cent Kraft cheese.

I was out of chicken broth and the Penzeys chicken soup base I usually keep on hand. I could have used plain water, but I used a little bit of the beef soup base in the three cups of water and thought it tasted good.

Some spices to experiment with in this would be a dash of nutmeg, a half-teaspoon of ground mustard, or a dash of cayenne. Also, white pepper is nice in cream soups. Try one at a time and see what you like.

The soup can be served over a baked potato. Also, the cheesy base is great to use for many other recipes, like cheese sauce for nachos.

What’s your favorite soup recipe?

Photo from here.

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