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Friday, March 23, 2012

Light-er Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I'm a big fan of Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Its creamy, cheesy, and perfect for a chilly day. I've made broccoli cheddar soup before, and while the taste was good, the texture was off because I didn't chop the broccoli small enough. But when I got an immersion blender from my amazing Maid of Honor, Analise, I finally had an easy way to make it!

Plus, no cream, so I don't feel terrible about eating several bowls of it.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
6 tbsp butter, divided
3/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup carrot, shredded
4 cups small broccoli florets
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or more)
4 tsp flour
2 cups milk (any... I used skim)
2 cups shredded cheddar (sharp is preferable)
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute until tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in the broth, onion salt, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, add broccoli, the reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk and cook until it thickens and bubbles (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat, and slowly whisk in the cheese until it melts completely. Slowly add the cheese sauce to the soup pot, stirring to combine. Allow to simmer until hot and the broccoli is tender. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt. To make it a little creamier, use an immersion blender to puree the soup (but don't go too crazy... you want some broccoli pieces left). To serve, add a little freshly shredded cheese on top.
Also good with some warm french bread

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