Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup Recipe

With the cooler air settling in, it is time for hearty soups and stews!  When the October edition of Food Network magazine arrived, I knew I had to make the cover recipe; broccoli-cheddar soup!  This is one of my favorite soups.  The thick and creamy base adorned with chucks of crunchy broccoli and undertones of cheddar flavor. 

This soup was so easy to make.  Thank you Food Network chefs!  I made a few minor adjustments to the soup to make it a bit healthier, and the end result was amazing.  This soup made so much that I was able to freeze two containers for future dinners for Bill and myself.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup Recipe
Recipe slightly modified from Food Network magazine
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups skim milk
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/3 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/3 cups)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, milk, both potatoes, bay leaf, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl; add 3 tablespoons water and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain.

When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf from the soup.  Use immersion blender and puree the soup until smooth.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the soup to a blender and make sure to leave the filler cap slightly open to let steam escape. Return the soup to the pot and thin with water, if necessary. Return to a simmer over medium-low heat; stir in the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.

Add the cheese and stir until melted. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons, if desired.

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