Sunday, November 6, 2011

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Hands down THE BEST Broccoli-Cheddar Soup I've ever tasted.

(Trust me. I've tasted a lot. It's my favorite soup.)

There's just something about the perfect green broccoli and the sharp cheddar cheese that marries beautifully, with a creamy base, in a big pot on the stove. Add in a bay leaf, and I cannot stay out of the kitchen.

So when my mother-in-law bought me the latest Food Network Magazine, I dropped everything when I saw the soup featured on the cover. I flipped right to the recipe, and after noting the ingredients (yes, bay leaf!), I made a quick trip to the grocery store. Because.I.Had.To.Make.This.

Love this magazine!

At first, I thought this particular version had to have a ton of cheddar because of it's color.


It gets it's gorgeous orange hue from the sweet potatoes. What?! IN my broccoli-cheddar soup? Hmm...I'm game.

Yes, I am in love with this soup. Sweet potatoes? Yes, please. I want to live inside this bubbling pot of deliciousness. The recipe called for less cheese than I am used to, but to be honest, I didn't miss it at all. I actually felt very healthy after eating this soup, and one bowl is super filling. Mr. B even said it was good, declaring it a 2-out-of-3-star meal...because he's not a "soup" person. (In case I haven't mentioned, he's a meat kind of guy.) Crazy. But after this, he promptly refilled his bowl two more times....

However, I did make a few changes to the recipe. I omitted the celery because my hubby dislikes it, added extra onion, used 1% milk to make it more figure-friendly, and didn't season it as much. And I made my own croutons.

Don't forget the croutons! You'll thank me later.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
*adapted from Food Network Magazine

Serves 6

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you're wanting a vegetarian dish)
2 cups 1% milk
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 c chopped broccoli florets
1/3 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Croutons, for topping (optional)

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth, milk, both potatoes, bay leaf, 2 c water, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl; add 3 Tbsp water and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain. When potatoes are tender, remove bay leaf from soup and transfer soup to a blender. Puree until smooth; return soup to the pot. Return to a simmer over medium-low heat; stir in broccoli. Add cheese and stir until melted. Ladle soup into bowls and top with croutons, if desired. Season if needed.

*This soup is even tasty cold and without croutons. But, why not croutons?

Nutritional Information
Per Serving (without croutons): Calories 266; Fat 7.7; Fiber 6.2; Protein 8.5

Yeah, I don't see me making any other version anytime soon.

With Love and God Bless,

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