Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup-"It's Even Better Than Panera Mommy!"

Last night I received what is quite possibly the highest compliment from my toughest critic, Lo. She told me this soup "was even better than Panera!!!!" I'm not going to let the fact that she sounded more surprised than excited that it was better dampen my mood. The point is she LOVED it and ate two huge bowls of it for dinner last night and I agree, it was REALLY good! It comes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and it has been added to our regular meal rotation list!

  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (4T) butter
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, preferable sharp or extra sharp
  • 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 2 1/2-3 cups chopped, lightly steamed or blanched broccoli (To make life easier while the soup is coming together, you can put the chopped broccoli in  a large glass bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave for 3-4 minutes. It cooks perfectly and just in time to add it to the soup.)
Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour, salt and pepper. Cook together, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium heat until soup starts to thicken, about 5-8 minutes. Add warmed chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and stir until completely melted. Stir in steamed broccoli**. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve immediately in bowls or bread bowls.

**I decided to use my immersion blender to break up the broccoli. My girls like it better that way, and it makes it creamy and delicious! We topped our soup with croutons and shredded cheddar cheese.

Serve with warm rolls or crusty Italian bread, they are both great for dipping!

It's the perfect soup for a chilly winter day! ENJOY!

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