Friday, January 22, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar Soup - Comfort food waits for no camera

Sometimes, or even oftentimes, you finish up a yummy meal or fresh baked good and then go, "Oh fiddle.  I should have taken a picture of that!"  That was the case with the gorgeous maple glazed salmon we had last week.  Absolutely sublime.  Must pass on that recipe.  I'll make it again soon, since S ate her whole portion, half of mine and half of Daddy's too!  I'll get a bigger filet next time.  Today it was my favorite broccoli cheddar soup.


But don't worry, there's more.  I always make a huge batch and it still only lasts a few days.  Sometimes I'll freeze it for later but more often than not, it's gone too fast.  It's a toss up who likes it more, me or my toddler.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
5 or 6 nice stalks of broccoli, use the florets and save the stems for another use (if you want to use the pre-packed florets it's maybe around 4 to 5 cups florets - about enough to fill a 2 quart pot - I fill mine to the brim)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 Qt chicken stock (enough to barely cover the veggies or less - they will cook down)
½ cup whipping cream
1 ½ cups (packed) grated cheddar cheese
dash tabasco (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat.  Sauté onion about 5 minutes until tender. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add broccoli florets and stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Coarsely puree with a stick blender or in a food processor.  Don't get it too smooth, this soup is best a bit chunky.  Stir in cream and grated cheese.  Blend a couple more seconds to combine.  Add tabasco and season to taste.  You probably won't need much if any salt, but fresh ground pepper is always good.  Serve piping hot with soft breadsticks for dipping or crackers or just plain.

I could practically live on this soup.  So could S.  :)  I tried to get her to say cheese but she was too busy shoveling in the soup!

We hope you like it as much as we do!

Update:  Since I make this so regularly, I thought I'd add some prep shots for y'all!

Once again I had forgotten to get more onions, but green onions work just fine too.  Honestly, you don't even have to sauté in the butter, you can just boil it all together until tender.  Super simple.

Boil, blend, add cream and cheese, season, serve.  Voilà!

Have I mentioned how much I love my hand blender?  I just run it under hot water to wash off and it's ready to go for next time.

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