It is November, which means it is soup weather.
It is cold here, like really cold. the perfect weather for Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup in some homemade sourdough bread bowls.
Like Panera’s, but better, healthier, and well a lot cheaper. Promise!
This soup is so goood! Why is it that broccoli tastes amazing when combined with cheddar cheese? They to just go together. Kind of like squash and sage, cinnamon and sugar.
I even got the serious “ONLY MEAT” eaters to eat this soup. And they enjoyed it. Enough Said.
When I was younger, on rare occasions, we would go to Panera for some soup, Mom probably more for the bread! For the most part we would get our soup in cups because it was cheaper and you got more soup this way, plus they gave you free bread with your soup. So paying the extra money for the bread bowl was kind of out of the question. But as kids we always asked.
When I started making my own sourdough bread I knew I hade to make some bread bowls. And fill those bread bowls with broccoli cheddar soup! Creamy soup filled with real whole ingredients. It does not get much better.
Honestly, this has got to be one of the simplest soup recipes. It comes together so fast, is healthy, and filling! Instead of using heavy cream I swapped in 2% milk and chicken broth and swapped out some of the butter for olive oil. Throw in a whole lot of broccoli some salt and lots of pepper. Let this simmer and then puree. I like to leave mine a little chunky. Then add in your cheddar cheese. Simple and delicious.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups Milk (I used 2%)
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
- 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2½ - 3 cups grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish*
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the chicken broth, carrot, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.
Add the broccoli to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. I left a few chunks in mine. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)
Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to ¾ cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.
* I probably used closer to 3 cups of cheese in the soup PLUS more on top.
*Adapted from [Food Network | http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/almost-famous-broccoli-cheddar-soup-recipe/index.html]
Bread bowl or no bread bowl, this soup is delicious either way, make some now!