Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This creamy and cheesy broccoli soup is the ultimate comfort food for you and your family. This is my version of Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup but better! I guarantee, you'll be asking for seconds!
- Heavy bottom pot
- Hand Blender
- Hand whisk
- 2 oz of butter(weighed)
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 1 leek (chopped/cleaned)
- 2 big celery stalks or 3 small ones, small dice
- 2 garlic, minced
- 2 oz all-purpose flour (weighed)
- 5 cups of chicken stock unsalted
- 3 big broccoli heads (blanched)
- 1 big carrot(shredded)
- 3 cups of half and half
- 2 cups or 8 oz of extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1 tsp of nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp of white pepper
- Salt to taste ( I used 2 tsp)
- In a heated heavy pot bottom or a dutch oven, add in half of your butter and let it melt.
- Add your chopped onion, leeks, celery and cook until translucent. Put your lid on the pot to help your vegetables cook faster; constantly mix then add in your garlic.
- Add in your leftover butter and let it melt. Once melted, add your flour. Use a hand whisk to mix the mixture and form a roux. Once a roux is formed, cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in your stock and mix well. Make sure everything comes together before moving to the next step.
- Bring everything to a boil. You will notice it slowly thickening, so make sure you are constantly mixing it. To check if the mixture is thick enough, dip your spoon into the pot and make a swipe mark with your finger on the back of the spoon. If there is a clear line going through, then your soup is thick enough and is ready for the next step. If not, make sure you keep mixing it and check again with the spoon technique.
- Take the soup off the stove and use a hand blender to blend the base of the soup.
- Once blended put back on the stove and add in your blanched broccoli, shredded carrots and half and half.
- Bring to a light simmer and add in your shredded cheese. Mix until melted.
- Add in your seasonings (salt, pepper and nutmeg).
- Enjoy/Serve with a bread bowl or a baguette on the side.
How to blanch broccoli? In a pot, bring your water to a running boil and add salt where the water is salty. You will place the broccoli in the water and let stay for 1-2 minutes. Then take the broccoli out and right away shock it in the ice water bath and then dry with a paper towel. Make sure for every portion of broccoli you throw in the water is boiling. If it’s not boiling then bring to a boil and throw in the broccoli. What is an ice water bath? Equal parts cold water and ice. Why do I blanch broccoli ? Blanching the broccoli will brighten up its color and will help slow down the vitamin loss of the vegetables. The broccoli will have more of a crisp texture, then having it mushy. Can I steam broccoli? Yes you can, if you choose too. How to clean leeks? Cut off the root hairs and the green leaves as shown in the video. Cut the green part of the leek in half and stop cutting it when you reach the white part. Clean your leeks in a bowl of water or under running water. Wash throughly several times to remove any soil or dirt. How to cut leeks? Once your leek is washed finish cutting your leek in half. You can also cut it in fourths for a smaller chop. Then chop finely with your knife. Why should you cut all your vegetables into a small chop? Cutting your vegetables the same cut will help them cook at the same time. Can I choose not to blend the base of the soup? Yes you can, but I like to blend mine. Why should you cover your vegetables with a lid while cooking? The lid will help steam the vegetables and will cook faster. What is a roux? A roux is a cooked mixture that is half parts of flour and butter, which is specifically weighed by a weight, for accuracy. Roux helps thicken the soup. Why should you combine your flour well? You need to combine your flour well, this will help prevent your soup having a flour taste. How long should I cook the roux for? Cook roux for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a whisk constantly. How to check if your base of the soup thicken? To check if your soup is thick enough,use your spoon. Swipe off the back of the spoon, once there is a clear line it means the soup is thickened enough. What kind of cheese do I use? The cheese that you can use is sharp cheddar cheese or extra sharp cheddar cheese. Why should you cook your vegetables, until translucent? Cooking your vegetables until translucent will blend better and there won’t be little pieces in the soup, but it will be smooth as a puree. What kind of stock can I use instead of chicken stock? You can use vegetable stock or beef stock. Can I use broth for this recipe? Yes you can, you will just have to make sure you watch on how much salt you add in, when seasoning the soup.