We’re in the middle of a big snow storm here in Ohio and I always look forward to the days when we can stay bundled up inside and watch the flakes fall. I often conjure up these images in my head of curling up on the couch by the fireplace while we sip on warm drinks and read. Of course, my imagination and reality sometimes conflict, especially since we don’t even have a fireplace and Smith is currently boycotting naps and battling a bad case of the grumps as a result. There are books, though. Lots and lots of lift-the-flap board books that our boy loves to read over and over and over. Spoiler alert: the Hungry Caterpillar turns into a butterfly.
For the days when the weather is frightfully cold, a bowl of soup is the perfect antidote. This broccoli cheese soup is especially comforting with its thick, creamy base and satisfying chunks of broccoli and carrots. A little bit goes a long way. Add in a hunk of fresh bread and it’s a lovely winter meal.
I hope you are all staying warm. We’re ready to go sledding!
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- ½ medium chopped onion
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup cream, 1 cup milk)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ lb fresh broccoli (about 1 cup), chopped
- 1 cup carrot, finely chopped
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (it’s best to shred your own since pre-shredded cheese is coated with cornstarch or flour, which impacts thickness)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside. In a large pot whisk together the melted butter and flour over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in the half and half and chicken stock. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
- Add salt and pepper and sharp cheddar cheese. Allow the cheese to melt. Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to puree some of the soup until you achieve your desired smoothness.
Source: The Recipe Critic