You’ll soon find out that I eat an inordinate amount of soup in the fall and winter. My usual soup rotation consists of smoky kale and white bean soup, carrot tahini soup topped with spicy crispy chick peas, and chipotle turkey chili. And even though I usually hate leftovers, I never feel that way about those three!
For the first time in a while, I was inspired to branch out and try something new. Maybe it’s the cozy weather, maybe it was the excuse to slip in some cheese, I don’t know. But today I started thinking about broccoli cheddar soup.
It couldn’t be TYPICAL broccoli cheddar soup – the goopy creamy flavorless stuff that doesn’t taste like broccoli or cheddar. I looked at a few recipes and immediately decided, we’re doubling the broccoli and cutting the cream. We’re caramelizing the onions and, yeah, it’s weird, but we’re adding a carrot or two, and we’re roasting the broccoli first. I’m all about boosting flavor and keeping it fresh. So here’s what I got:
Roasted Broccoli & Smoked Cheddar Soup
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
scant ¼ c. flour
1 cup whole milk (many recipes called for heavy cream or half & half. follow your heart.)
4 cups chicken stock (could use vegetable stock too)
2 lbs. broccoli, chopped small and rough
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ¼ cups coarsely grated smoked cheddar cheese
sea salt, white pepper, black pepper
Preheat your oven to 350. Toss broccoli in a tiny bit of olive oil and roast for 10 minutes.
While roasting, melt the butter in a heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook until tender. At this point, your whole apartment already smells amazing. Coat onion and garlic with flour, stirring and scraping constantly. Cook until the mixture starts to look golden, then slowly whisk in the milk. The mixture should thicken a bit at this stage. Add the stock, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Bring the liquids to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the roasted broccoli and the chopped carrot to the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes until all veggies are tender. With an immersion blender or a regular one, puree the soup to your desired thickness. I personally like to have a few nice chunks of broccoli in my bowl 🙂
Adjust seasonings if needed, reduce heat, and stir in the cheese. Serve in the biggest bowls you have – it’s that good! I served it with a hearty pumpernickel loaf – ahh, imagine how good this would be in a bread bowl!