I love cheese. I love to eat anything with substantial amounts of cheese in it. This soup is no exception to that rule. It’s like mac and cheese, but without any of that finicky mac in the way ;). As a child I remember being obsessed with the Cup-a-Soup Broccoli-Cheddar soup and at one point, within the past couple of years, I finally got to try it, to great dissatisfaction – this was one of the things I wanted out of this soup; that sense of perfect creamy-cheesy-perfection that comes with trying a cheese soup for the first time.
I recently talked about my current love of soups, stews, anything hearty I can cook in a pot and have excess leftovers from; this was one of those soups. It’s rich and creamy in all the right ways. I made it when it was especially cold and icky outside, rainy and gross right at the end of November and BF loved it. It warmed and filled us up. It was rich and thick – a perfect accompaniment to Pie Pan Focaccia Bread.
When I ate this soup as a child, from that little foil lined Cup-a-Soup packet, I thought it would be impossible to make, but as I finally got around to reading a recipe (Cabot Coop twitter feed was great for inspiration), I realized just how simple it was. A roux, some milk, stock, broccoli and cheese and there was magic, in the form of broccoli cheddar soup. Bliss.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Adapted from Cabot Coop’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Note: I recommend a sharp cheddar, but nothing that will overshadow the broccoli, or else the broccoli loses some of it’s sweetness. Also, I’m sure you could use low fat milk here, I just don’t because I prefer everything to threaten me with a coronary.
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar (I really like Cabot New York Style Sharp, a Monterey Jack is also very nice)
4 cups of stock (I used chicken, but vegetable is also delicious)
4 cups of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan and add the flour (make a roux). Whisk the butter and flour together until they are fully blended (about 30 seconds). Gradually add the stock until it and the roux are fully combined; this should take a minute or two. Add the broccoli and the milk. Let the whole mixture come to a simmer and leave it there for 10-15 mins, until the broccoli is tender. Add the cheese and stir, letting it melt and thicken the soup. Using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor, puree one quarter of the soup (or more if you want it silky smooth and lush). Serve immediately with grated cheese sprinkled on top.