Cream of Broccoli Cheese Soup
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- Head of broccoli or about 1 lb.
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 small carrots peeled and cut into small coins
- 1small onion,finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic,minced
- 1 32oz container low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup mild or medium cheddar cheese, shredded
- pinch of nutmeg
- Separate the broccoli stalks from the florets and cut any tough ends from the stalks. Peel any tough skin from the stalks and chop, cut the florets into 1/2 inch pieces.
- In a large sauce pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat, add the carrots and onion, saute for about 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the broccoli and stir to combine, add the chicken broth, salt and pepper and let simmer on low.
- Whisk the milk and flour together and heat on medium low in a small saucepan, add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture makes a thickened sauce.
- Add the cheese mixture to the large pot with the broccoli and stir to combine, cook for an additional 10 minutes on low.
- Place one third of the soup into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour the pureed mix back into the soup and stir. Add the nutmeg and serve immediately.
***Healthy changes and substitutions
- Using flour and low fat milk to create a “cream” base instead of fat laden whole cream.
- Low-sodium chicken broth reduced the sodium levels of any dish and allows the cook to control the salt levels.
- Using 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil to saute the veggies in this soup add a lot of flavor with very little saturated fat.
- It is very important to keep the soup on a low simmer once you add the milk mixture to the broth, over heating or boiling could cause the soup to “break”. Although it will still be edible, the texture of the soup will become grainy instead of smooth and it will look unappetizing.
- If you should ever “break” a sauce or soup, you can try incorporating additional thickeners such as arrowroot or flour with a whisk or pureeing all the liquid together.
- Immersion blenders are a great tool to have in the kitchen and make pureeing all or part of a soup quick work with less mess.
- One serving of broccoli will provide more than 150% of RDA of vitamin C.
- Broccoli is packed with phytonutrients which lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
- Broccoli contains 31 mg of calcium per serving, which is particular helpful to those who don’t consume dairy.
Robin Shea http://www.robinshea.com/