One month into the pandemic; how is everyone doing? Is everyone else eating soup too? I bought so much broccoli the first month and grew tired of roasting it that I started making soup. At first, I was making pots of our Creamy Non-Dairy recipe that includes kale then I wanted more! I was craving rich and creamy like no one’s business and what came out of those mad cravings was this super creamy and rich broccoli cheddar soup.
I am not going to lie to you, as we start our second month of lockdown, it is hard. We work from home so that part of this cruel game is easy for us, it is the not being able to leave for a simple pleasure like a hike in the park or a cup of coffee that is hard. Definitely doing a lot of reflection on what is important moving forward once we can move forward. We are lucky or as I like to say privileged that we have what keeps us safe and comfortable, and we never take that for granted. So many people we know are really in a tough spot right now and I do lose sleep at night worrying about what the long term outcome will be.
Something about a bowl of homemade soup that makes everything feel a little better, if only during each warm spoonful. This soup has been on a regular rotation at our house and has evolved into the perfect bowl. Rich, creamy with a beautiful smoky flavor. Most broccoli soup recipes use the florets, I use everything in this recipe, stalk and all. I also do not use flour or cream as a thickener. I like to toss a russet in with my soup bases when the recipe is meant to be creamy.
What is so special about my soup besides all the love that went into this recipe? It is super easy to make, full of flavor and texture-rich as I toss in small florets to add some depth, to make it interesting. After all, we need something interesting in our lives right now.
Make a pot of this soup filled with all the goodness I suggest along with your love, then sit down and enjoy a bowl with those you love. Hug everyone a bit tighter and be safe, friends.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1 1/2 pounds broccoli
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion (medium-sized)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
11-ounce russet potato
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked chili flakes – this is the brand I like. If you cannot find use your favorite but start with small measurements as they may be spicer than these
5 cups vegetable stock
6 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese – I use sharp you can use medium if that is your thing
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Remove the florets from the broccoli and set aside.
Peel the potato and rinse with cold water.
Roughly chop the onion, stalks of broccoli and the potato. It does not need to be neat and tidy chops as everything will be blended together.
Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the onion and cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli stalks along with the potato and stir. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Add the garlic, thyme and chili flakes and stir. Add the stock and simmer until the stalks and potato are fork-tender. This will usually take 30 – 40 minutes depending on how large the pieces were cut.
While the base is cooking roughly chop all but about 1/3 of the broccoli. The 1/3 of broccoli I separate into small pieces as they will be added at the very last moment – more for texture.
Once the base is finished, turn off the stove heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Then blend until smooth using a blender, food processor or immersion blender. Return the mixture to the pot.
Gently reheat the soup stirring in the extra 1/3 florets along with the cheddar cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.