When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of something yummy. Here’s how to make some broccoli cheddar soup deliciousness. This recipe will please your vegetarian friends*. This recipe will please your carnivorous friends*. This recipe works on bosses and can be made ahead of time for stress-free holiday parties*. I’m just sayin. Boom. It’s so easy and quick you may not even get the credit you deserve! I suggest lightly tapping flour somewhere on your face so it looks like you’ve been slaving away over a hot stove. Or not, whatever. Live your life.
*unless, of course, any of these people are lactose intolerant or suffer from IBS. Ahem. Use your best judgement.
Gather these ingredients:
Broccoli, about a head and a half for four servings. Or more. But not less. That’d be silly. Cut some tiny and leave some florettes whole. Medium Cheddar Cheese, the amount will vary depending upon your cheese tolerance/taste I used just under 8 oz. Don’t be afraid to combine. Pepper Jack would be a yummy cheddar partner. Mm! Save just a few shreds of cheese for your garnish. Serrano pepper, if you like spicy like we do. Tomatillo sauce. Red bell pepper, about half of this guy. Save two long strips for your garnish. Garlic, 3 cloves. Shallot. Onion. Cold Milk, two cups. Flour, about 1/3 cup. Salt, pepper, red pepper flake. Carrot, julienned. Butter, 1-2 tablespoons cubed.
To begin, we’ll be making a roux as we did for the Hearty Party Mac-N-Cheese. Easy peasy. Saute butter, garlic and onion, set most aside. Saute remaining onion/garlic with another cube of butter plus red pepper and serrano, add to the garlic/onion set aside. Saute butter with broccoli and carrot. Set broccoli/carrot aside separately. I used the same large bowl but kept it to one side. It’s not as though they can’t touch, you just need to be able to get back at the onion/garlic/pepper mixture sooner than you do the broccoli.
Next, return the onion/garlic/pepper to your pot with one more cube of butter. Sprinkle flour and whisk frequently. As soon as your flour smells cooked, begin adding milk very gradually. There you have it. A roux. This one should be just a bit wetter than the texture of the mac-n-cheese. Add your cheese and stir to melt. Now, stop and taste it! Getting your flavors perfect before the return of the broccoli is paramount. Imagine all that soupy sauciness welling up inside your flourettes only to find that the flavor or texture wasn’t right. Whatever you add after the fact will never get all the way in there. Trust. I’ve tried. So this is your time to taste and tweak according to your lovely palette. I added salt, pepper and just a splash of tomatillo sauce. As for texture, if you find your soup is too-too wet, just add a bit more flour, wisk and wait for it to thicken like magic. If it becomes some crazy, dry paste, add more milk. Bam! You can’t fail! Once it tastes perfect, throw those broccoli florettes in and stir to coat. Simmer for five minutes. Be patient. I know it smells good, but those flavors need to work together. Keep yourself busy, go get those bowls out. And spoons, BIG spoons!
Serve up and enjoy! Garnish with red pepper and cheese shreds. Brilliant!
From mah kitchen to yours, happy holidays.