If it’s going to snow and be all freezing cold outside we might as well take advantage of it and make some soup, right? Surprisingly, the weather folks got it right this time and we got our first glimpse of snow flurries on Monday that quickly turned to a freezing rain/sleety mixture that coated the ground in dangerous icy white stuff. Now the snow/sleet/freezing rain has passed leaving us with frigid temperatures and I can’t say I’m too excited about the overnight low of 8 degrees (!) this week. That’s just wrong.
Of course the silver lining is that we get to make soup! Soup was made for cold weather – there’s nothing better than slow-simmering a big pot while day-dreaming about snow days, which, by the way, NEVER happens anymore thanks to laptops, VPN, and cell phones. Schools around here close up at just the hint of snow, but we’re stuck working remotely thanks to all the wonderful technology enabling us to stay connected at work. I am so jealous of those kids.
Anyway, we might not get snow days anymore, but we can still have soup. In this case, a big warm bowl of creamy broccoli cheese soup – let’s break it down…
It all starts with some butter, onion, and garlic – is there anything that smells better? The minute they hit the heat the most wonderful aroma emerges, which always makes me feel happy inside. Once they’ve cooked in goes some flour and veggie stock – the flour/butter combo will help thicken the soup – and then the milk and half & half, which takes the soup to creamy richness heaven. Finally, fresh broccoli florets are added at which point the soup just needs to simmer for about 20 minutes. In that time it will thicken, the broccoli will cook, and all those flavors will meld together. Right at the very end the cheese is added – I used an aged white cheddar, which is nice and mild. This soup is smooth. It’s creamy. It’s cheesy. It’s full of fresh broccoli flavor.
But that’s not all..
Let’s not forget the garnish – a fun and tasty garnish makes a plain bowl of soup fancy and we like that! Even soup needs a little sparkle, so on a whim, while the soup was simmering, I fried up some crispy onions – sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Crispy onions, broccoli, and cheese? So good. Along with the crispy onions I steamed a few extra broccoli florets to pile in the center of the bowl. You know, because it’s pretty. You could skip the garnish – the soup is awesome all on it’s own – but you’d miss out on that great crispy texture. It’s like adding croutons except way better. It’s fun to accessorize your soup!
All together the soup and garnish combine into one delicious and warming bowl of goodness.
This broccoli and cheese soup is creamy and full of fresh broccoli flavor.
15 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- For the Soup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup half & half
- 4 cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped (about 2 heads)
- 8 ounce aged white cheddar cheese, grated
For the Garnish
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- canola oil
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and let them cook until they soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and let it all cook another minute or two.
- Add the flour, a little at a time, to the butter, onions, and garlic stirring constantly. Once all of the flour is added let it cook for another couple of minutes before slowly whisking in the vegetable stock. Whisk continuously to ensure there are no lumps of flour. Next, add the milk and half & half. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer then lower the heat and add in the broccoli florets. Let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
- While the soup is simmering make the garnish. First, soak the sliced onions in the milk for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the salt and pepper and set aside. While Pour some canola oil into a medium pan until it reaches about 1 inch up the side. Heat the oil over medium heat to about 360 degrees.
- Once the oil is at temperature, remove the onions from the milk and toss them in the flour mixture until coated. Shake off the excess flour and then add them to the hot oil. Using tongs gently move them around so they don't clump up together. Keep and eye on them - once they turn a nice golden brown they're done. Remove them from the pan to drain on a paper towel.
- For the broccoli garnish, I just steamed the florets using a steamer bag in the microwave. You could also boil them in water on the stovetop until tender. Once cooked set them aside.
- Once the soup has simmered and the broccoli is tender remove the pot from the heat. At this point you can keep the soup as is, or blend it for a creamier consistency. I used an immersion blender to puree the soup, although you can also use a stand blender.
- Once blended, stir in the grated cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until it's melted. Reserved about 1/4 cup of the cheese to use for garnish, if desired.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the steamed broccoli and crispy onions. Top with the remaining grated cheese and a little fresh ground pepper.