A quick tip for when you're making cream soups for supper: plan what else you're making for supper in advance so that you don't leave your soup cooking too long and let it curdle!
I chose last night to make up some Broccoli Cheese soup from scratch, and was so excited to make my first cream soup in a few years, that I forgot to think about what else I would serve with it! So the soup turned out a little less than perfect as I ran around the kitchen frantically trying to throw together a balanced meal. (the gouda is what did me in...)
But, just because it didn't look pretty doesn't mean it wasn't incredible!
I used the recipe for Sketch-Free Broccoli and Cheese soup over at Peas and Crayons as my starting base. And while I intended to follow the recipe... well, you know how that goes. So I wanted to share the recipe that I ended up using! I made a couple basic changes, like upping the amount of liquid, cutting out the carrots and switching up some of the flavors, just simply because that suited my tastes better. The end product was a great, filling soup that caused my husband to say, "That smells great!" as soon as he walked into the house, and that my toddler INHALED. Seriously, he ate as much as I did in half the time I did. The recipe makes 4 moderate servings.
Broccoli Cheese Soup (adapted from Peas and Carrots):
3 c. chicken broth
1 large bundle broccoli (2/3 finely diced florets, 1/3 larger chunks)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 c. half and half
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp basil
1 c. grated cheddar
1 c. grated gouda
Fresh cracked pepper
Fresh snipped parsley
In a small pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add broccoli, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Simmer, covered, until large broccoli pieces are just fork-tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a larger pot, melt butter over medium heat and then whisk in flour. Cook for an additional minute. Next, whisk in broth that you cooked the veggies in. Once incorporated, stir in veggies. Slowly stir in half and half and spices. Bring up to heat again, and, when hot, whisk in cheese until fully melted. Add parsley and pepper and serve promptly.
This is a quick recipe, especially if you work mise en place. Heat some buns in the oven while it's cooking and serve it with a salad, and supper will be on the table in 30 minutes!
But remember to plan the rest of supper before the soup is done cooking, or you'll be serving curdled-cheese soup... just like I did.
Mrs. VanderLeek ;)