I know that I often have a common theme running through blog posts. No big family store or memory that spurred the making of a dish. Nope…just an overabundance of a food item as the result of being a Costco shopper. I’ve shopped at Costco for many years and now that both kids are on their own, I have either got to remember to cool it with some purchases; or do what I did today.
About once a month I do an inventory and straighten out my fridge and like today, if I happen on something that needs to be used, I’m all over experimenting a bit. Today it was broccoli and I had a full bag of the florets to use; that is a LOT of broccoli!
I made a soup years ago that was a broccoli cheddar soup and I think I actually used a Knorr seasoning packet to add some of the required flavor. I quit using those packets many years ago so it was on me to season it and yes, I went to the usual suspects. What isn’t better with butter, onion and garlic? I also had some dried thyme from my garden; it is so much better than what you will find in the store. Thyme is a tough perennial; while I have a couple of bushy varieties, I also have it growing in between the flagstone in my patio where it is walked on and never watered and it comes back every year and is available until a hard freeze. I love how it releases such a fragrant scent when I’m walking on that path. Try some; it’s a great plant and if you’ve not used fresh thyme…careful, you’ll be like me and never go back!
Another opportunity to use the steamer I have from ManPans too. I steamed the broccoli in the top steamer insert and then made the rest of the soup using the bottom saute pan. So easy, not a big mess to clean up and just perfect on this nice but chilly day in January.
Broccoli Soup with White Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Croutons
For the Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups onions, sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Generous pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 16-ounce fresh broccoli, steamed
- 1 1/2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook)
- Croutons if desired (Recipe below); can also be served with crackers
- (Optional: I've also served with sauteed mushrooms spooned on top)
For the Croutons
- 2 slices bread - I just use sandwich bread; no special purchase required!
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp butter
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- Salt to season
To Make the Soup:
- Melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the flour and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock while whisking and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the wine, reduce the heat and let it simmer until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked broccoli and let it simmer in the mixture gently for a two or three minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients until soup is a creamy consistency. (You can also use a food processor but it will take multiple batches; do not overfill the blender).
- Warm the soup in the pot and add the shredded white cheddar cheese and stir until melted; I used the immersion blender again to thoroughly combine the soup and cheese.
- Serve warm with crackers or croutons and garnished with additional shredded White Cheddar Cheese.
To Make the Croutons:
- Melt the oil and butter in a skillet; add the bread and toss quickly so that all of the bread has some of the oil on it. Season with salt and garlic powder.
- Heat in the skillet until medium brown. Cool slightly before topping the soup.
I have to tell you...this was very good before I added the cheese so if you want to limit some calories make that optional.