Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup

March 5th, 2015

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Wow . . . the 2015 Saveur Best Food Blog Nominations have begun http://www.saveur.com/article/contests/blog-awards-2015-nominate?dom=SAV. If you are feeling inspired, please nominate castle walk kitchen for best special interest blog. The nominating process takes about 30 seconds. It’s really easy and means a lot to me. The more nominations the better!

In the hopes that Saveur will take a look at my blog, I thought I should take stock of what I’ve done this year. So I took a trip down memory lane and revisited my past posts. What a short trip! What have I been doing all winter? Learning to ski of course (more about that in my next post)! We have had record-breaking amounts of snow this winter.

But, mon dieu, I have neglected you all! I will attempt to remedy that in the next few weeks. Today’s post is for Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I think my class will stage a coup de tat if I don’t post this immediately! Most of the kids really loved this soup (as did their parents, babysitters and siblings who got to sample the soup at pick-up). Remember, the kids are doing most of the cooking here. I slice the onions first to make them easier for the kids to dice, then they cut (or pull apart) the broccoli into florets, measure butter, flour, and stock, and shred the cheese with a grater (and some assistance). I’m so proud of all my young chefs!

Here’s what you can look forward to (though maybe not in this exact order) . . . Zucchini French Fries (this should have been posted at the end of last session’s cooking classes, my apologies!), Easy Guacamole (new this session), Bruschetta (because I had left-over tomatoes . . . this is also one of my personal favorites), Sweet Potato Wedges (ridiculously easy with cinnamon and hot chili pepper), Chicken Posole Soup (I fell in love with this soup from Two Elks Lodge), Porcini Mushroom Soup with a Poached Egg (from Cookshop in NYC) and Eggplant Ragout (this is from a submission to Temple Israel’s new cookbook).  Also on my “to do” list: Curry Chicken, Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding, and Lasagna . . .

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion, diced (sometimes I use ½ of a sweet Vidalia onion)
1 clove garlic, small chop
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth (feel free to use vegetable stock for a vegetarian option)
1 can evaporated milk
2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (you want it to cook in 10 minutes)
Kosher salt and freshly group pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder (you can a bit more if you like some kick!)
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large stockpot over a medium flame. When hot, add the butter. Then add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn. Sprinkle the flour on top and let the flour cook for another 1-2 minutes. Pour the broth and evaporated milk over the onion mixture and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the broccoli and carrots. Season the soup with salt, pepper and mustard powder. Gently simmer for about 10-12 minutes. The broccoli and carrots should be tender. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until all the large pieces of broccoli are broken down. Turn the heat off and stir in the cheese. It should melt quickly and smoothly. Serve with a chunk of crusty bread.

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