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Broccoli and Cheese Soup Recipe

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Bowl of homemade broccoli cheddar cheese cream soup.
Liza McCorkle/E+/Getty Images
Creamy broccoli and cheese soup is a comforting meal and a great way to get kids to eat some veggies. This recipe simmers plenty of broccoli until it's soft and tender, giving the soup a noticeable broccoli flavor. Enough cheese is added to make the soup creamy and delicious but not over-the-top rich. Try using an aged, sharp cheddar which has a bolder flavor than regular cheddar.

While broccoli soup is delicious, it can often end up having a drab, grayish-green color. If your batch of soup isn't as bright and beautiful as you'd like then try adding two handfuls of fresh spinach or arugula to the soup a minute or two before you puree it in the blender. It won't affect the flavor of the soup all that much but the color will be a more vibrant green.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: six servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds of broccoli (usually ends up being about 6 stems), florets roughly chopped. The thick bottom stems can be set aside, or for a stronger broccoli flavor in the soup, peeled and cut into thin slices.
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated hard cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Heat the butter or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the broccoli. Stir the broccoli a few times as it cooks for the next five minutes.

Add the water and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue to simmer until the broccoli is very soft, fifteen to twenty minutes.

**If you're adding a few handfuls of raw spinach or arugula to the soup for a brighter color, throw it into the cooking pot one to two minutes before you put the soup in the blender.

Pour the soup into a large bowl. Ladle or pour half of the soup into a blender, add both types of cheese, and process until as smooth as possible, one to two minutes. Pour this blended portion back into the original cooking pot. Put the remaining broccoli and stock into the blender and process until smooth as well. Add this back to the original cooking pot as well.

Bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, add a little additional water or stock.

© recipe 2012 Jennifer Meier licensed to About.com, Inc.

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Cooking Tips for Broccoli

  • Cook broccoli within several days of buying it. Otherwise, the florets will wilt and become soft.
  • Broccoli is usually cooked briefly (either steamed, sauteed or stir-fried) to keep the green color bright, the texture slightly crisp and the flavor mild. This is a matter of preference, however. Roasting broccoli in the oven at 400 F for 25 minutes or more gives it a tender but slightly crispy texture that's irresistible. Simmering it in liquid until it's very soft is ideal for a soup like this one, because it make the flavor of the broccoli more pronounced.
  • Don't forget to peel and eat the broccoli stem! It's crunchy and delicious raw or can be cooked alongside the florets.

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