The Cast of Characters: Butter, chopped onion, flour, milk, half-and-half, broccoli, nutmeg (I have fresh, but any nutmeg is fine), cheese, and salt and pepper if you need it.
Melt the butter in a pot and saute the onions until they’re beginning to turn translucent, about 3 minutes or so.
(You’ll notice I am not providing you a photo of the onions sauteing in the butter. This is because I am an airhead.)
Sprinkle in the flour and stir it into the onions. Let it cook for a minute or so…
(You’ll notice I am not providing you a photo of the flour being stirred into the onions. This is because my brain was not present on the day I cooked this soup. Just follow my written instructions and forget I ever existed visually. But only for a moment.)
Okay, I’m back visually. Pour in the milk, stirring as you add it.
Pour in the half-and-half too, because you’re naughty.
Add in the nutmeg (makes the soup extra delicious!)…
Then toss in the broccoli and add in a little salt (just go a little easy on the salt because the cheese has plenty)…
And plenty of pepper. Yum.
Then just cover the pot and simmer the soup on low for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is nice and tender. This’ll give the soup time to develop some nice broccoli flavor, and it’ll give you time to grate up the cheese.
Next, throw in the cheese. This is mild cheddar cheese, but you can use sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, even a little goat cheese or gruyere to make things really luscious. You pick the cheese!
Now it’s time to make another decision. What consistency would you like your broccoli-cheese soup to have? You could leave it like it is now. You could mash it with a potato masher to break it up a little bit.
Or you could totally puree it, either with an immersion blender OR with a blender in one or two batches, depending on how large your blender is.
I happen to like it pureed, so that’s the path I’m choosing in life.
*Note: You can also choose to puree it before adding the cheese, but I don’t find that it really matters much when you add it. Still tastes delicious either way.
Whizzzzzzzzzzzz! Just look at the goodness in that blender.
Pour it back into the pot when it’s blended, just to make sure it’s nice and hot. Splash in a little milk or chicken broth if it needs just a little thinning. The soup shouldn’t be perfectly smooth, though—nice and textured is good.
Don’t have a fancy, crusty bread bowl? Just use a Kaiser roll. Your kids won’t care one bit!
Just lop off the top and pull out the innards, leaving a little rim for support. I didn’t do this for the photo, but if you pop the rolls in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes, it’ll crust them up and make them hold the soup a little better.
Cute little bread bowl knockoff. I certainly wouldn’t pass muster at an elegant dinner party…but we don’t have elegant dinner parties ’round this joint.
So, so good. Yum!
And of course, regular bowls work too.
So many great broccoli-cheese soups out there, my friends, and I don’t think I’ve ever met one I didn’t like. So take this and run with it—make it all yours by switching up the cheese, even adding a dash or two of Worcestershire, Tabasco, or whatever you can think of.
But most importantly: enjoy. Broccoli-cheese soup deserves to be savored.