In our Quest for Simpler Living (note the capitalized words for dramatic effect), one nice way we’ve found to make simpler/healthier/more creative meals is through interesting soups and stews. Unfortunately, this strategy often means leaving some of the creamier, cheesier members of the soup family by the wayside, which is kind of saddening to me at times. Broccoli cheddar soup, clam chowder, seafood bisques and the like are definitely all-stars in my book, so even though they have to be “sometimes food”, I’m still glad they show up every once in awhile in the rotation.
I added cauliflower to the recipe, since broccoli and cauliflower seem kind of like friends anyway, and I figured it could add to the texture if it was blended into the broth. We went with a fairly smooth soup this time, but if you wanted something a little chunkier you could chop some of the vegetables into bigger pieces and add them in after pureeing the soup (or just puree less thoroughly).
This can easily be a slightly lighter soup if you leave out the cream, or richer if you add more cheese and cream to the mix. I tried to kind of split the difference to have a hearty soup that wasn’t over-rich.
Serve it with ciabatta, because I just posted how to make it earlier this week and it’s delicious.
Cheddar Broccoli Cauliflower Soup Recipe
4 cups (total) chopped broccoli and cauliflower
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups stock
1.5 cups milk
1/2 cup cream (or sub more milk)
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Chop your vegetables. We used a food processor to save time (we made twice this amount for guests), but you can chop by hand if you want a different texture.
Start with the onions, and saute the whole crowd in the butter. Add the garlic once the rest of the veggies have gotten a little softer.
Next, add the flour and mix it around thoroughly so it can blend with the veggies and butter. Gradually add the stock and bring to a simmer, then cover and heat for 15-20 minutes.
Once the veggies are softened, blend the mix to your desired thickness (use either an immersion blender or in batches in a standard blender).
Add the milk and cream slowly, followed by the cheddar. Heat gently, but don’t bring to a boil (it can curdle the dairy.)
Adjust salt and pepper, and serve with some delicious bread. If you make as much as we did, make sure there’s like 15 people who want to eat it.
Enjoy– and see you next time, foodies!