Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Soup

I don’t know about you, but I love a good broccoli cheese soup. I’ve always loved it, and I used to buy those hideous dried soup packets by Bear Creek until I figured out how to make this. I don’t remember where I got the original recipe, but I’ve tweaked the hell out of it, to the point I’m not sure the two look the same anymore. I love this soup because it’s not made with that horrible product known as pasteurized process cheese product, a.k.a., Velveeta. NASTY! The worst part of Velveeta is how it twists my insides into knots and makes it feel like a grenade went off inside me. So, this is amazing!

Here’s a beautiful picture of my bowl before I dug in.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:
1 – 10 oz. package broccoli florets (you can find these in the produce section of the grocery store)
1 – 32 oz. carton chicken broth
1 – large onion, diced
2 – cups shredded carrots
2 – large spoonfuls of chopped garlic (the kind in the jar)
1 – bay leaf
1/2 – TSP garlic powder
1/2 – TSP allspice
1/2 – TSP dried basil
1/4 – TSP cayenne pepper
1/4 – TSP paprika
1/2 – TSP salt
6 – TBSP butter
6 – TBSP flour
1 – 1 pint carton whipping cream
1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese, diced
16 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese (either buy it already shredded or buy a block and shred it – I prefer the latter)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients through salt in a large stock pot. This is your “broth” base. Bring it to a boil and cover it, allowing it to boil for around 15-20 minutes. You want your broccoli super-tender and your onion cooked through.

When your broth is nearly done cooking, melt your butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour. Keep your heat on medium, and whisk this briskly for about 2 minutes. It should bubble furiously while you do. Voila! You’ve just made roux! Remove it from the heat after 2 minutes.

Dig your bay leaf out of your broth. This next step is completely optional, but I strongly suggest you do it – ladle out about 4 scoops of veggies from your pot and try to drain out as much liquid as possible. Put this in your food processor with the chopper blade and pulse it until everything is completely pulverized. Dump this back into your pot.

Now, turn up your heat to medium-high and pour in your cream and then your roux. Stir this for several moments, and then start dropping in the chunks of cream cheese. I like to drop them all in the pot and then take a spatula and crush the chunks against the side of the pot and then scrape it loose and stir it into the soup. Repeat this until you can’t see anymore chunks of cream cheese in your soup when you stir it.

Lastly, you want to slowly stir in your shredded cheddar cheese, a little at a time, until it’s all combined and melted into your soup well.

Now, your soup is done! I like to serve it with a slice of homemade bread, and garnish it with some red pepper flakes and extra shredded cheese.

Enjoy! This is the best soup ever!

Anna, What Smells so Good?

I’ve got split pea and ham soup in my crock pot right now. It’s giving my house the most delicious aroma. I wish all of you could smell this fantastic scent that is the dinner currently simmering on low!

The temperature here has, thankfully, dropped from triple digits to lower-to-mid 80’s. I’m celebrating this with a delicious soup, hoping to coax the weather gods into giving us a nice Fall. I decided there was no better way to do so than with a classic Fall soup. Hence why I am making split pea and ham soup.

This soup is so incredibly easy to make, whether you do it in a slow cooker or on the stove.

Ingredients:
1 lb dried split peas
1 onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
2 TBSP diced garlic
1 lb ham (I chose a ham steak this time around, but you can use leftover ham or even loaf ham)
1 carton chicken broth
2-3 cups water (depending on how runny you want your finished product)
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in either a large pot on the stove or your crock pot. If cooking on the stove, simmer on low for approximately 30 minutes. If cooking in a crock pot, cook on low for 6 hours. (If you used a ham steak, like I did this time, you’ll need to break it apart at some point.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

Split Pea Soup

Tell me this doesn’t look delicious! OMG! I must go feast, now!