The wonderful thing about soups is that they are generally pretty easy and quick to make. This one is no exception.
I like to chop all the vegetables and measure out all the spices before I begin. That way I know I have everything (no last minute scramble trying to find the jar of tarragon in my spice cabinet) and I don't have to worry about the roux scorching while I measure something.
This recipe will make four servings, depending on how big your version of serving size is. Hubby and I had a big bowl each while we waited for the rest of our dinner to cook, so in our house, it made two servings. Feel free to double this if you really like soup or if you have more mouths to feed.
Start by melting the butter in a heavy pan. Add the chopped onions and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about ten minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
Sprinkle the flour over the butter and onions, and whisk it together so there won't be any lumps.
Cook the roux for several minutes so the flour won't taste raw, but be careful not to burn it.
Add the cream and whisk it again.
Heat to bubbling, then whisk in the chicken broth. (I used homemade turkey broth.)
Add the spices, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the mixture. Simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
If you're using fresh broccoli, add it and simmer for another 20-25 minutes. I used frozen broccoli, and didn't have to cook it as long. Remove the bay leaf. Then I put most of the soup into my blender and mix for a few seconds. I don't want to puree it, but I don't want chunky soup either.
Return the soup to the saucepan and add the shredded cheese, stirring well while it melts into the soup.
Serve with a handful of cheese on top of the bowl.
Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/8 cup flour
2 cups of chicken broth
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of broccoli, chopped fine
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (sharp or extra sharp is best)
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the diced onion and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about ten minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and butter and whisk together to avoid lumps. Cook this for a few minutes so the soup won't have a "raw flour" taste.
Whisk in the cream and heat to bubbling. Whisk in the chicken broth. Add the spices, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add the broccoli and continue simmering for another 20-25 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
Remove the bay leaf. Put the soup in the blender and blend to desired consistency, in batches if necessary. Return soup to saucepan, add shredded cheese and stir while the cheese melts. Serve soup with a handful of cheese on top of the bowl.
A Month of Soups 2013:
Chicken and Mushroom Soup
Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
French Onion Soup
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