Today was a chilly, rainy day.....umm hello it's almost April, where are you spring?! I am so very ready for it to be warm, sunny, and to be able to wear flip flops and shorts! Since it was a yucky day out I felt like something warm for dinner so I looked through some of my cooking magzines at pages that I had marked and came across this one: a copy cat recipe for Panera's broccoli cheddar soup. I love Panera's broccoli cheddar soup and decided to try it out.
This was absolutely delicious and it definitely hit the spot. It was creamy, cheesy, and it warmed me up! My family really enjoyed it as well and I will definitely make this again. It was pretty simple to make and really, really yummy and I just served it with some asiago cheese bread from our local supermarket bakery instead of in bread bowls.
Almost-Famous Broccoli-Cheddar Soup (Food Network magazine)
Active: 45 min.
Total: 1 hr. 10 min. Serves: 4
-6 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1 small onion, chopped
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-2 cups half & half
-3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
-2 bay leaves
-1/4 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
-2 & 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese ( I used half white cheddar and half yellow cheddar) , plus more for garnish
1) Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half & half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, prepare 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.
3) Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or until smooth; you'll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)
4) Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.