Broccoli Cheese Soup

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 My favorite soup from Panera Bread has to be broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl,.  But you and I both know that can be a little pricey.  I’m thrifty and I’ll be the first to admit it.  So why not just make your own at home?  For the cost of one bowl at Panera you can make a whole pot with 6-8 servings.  I’d bought a 2 pound bag of broccoli florets at Sam’s with this soup in mind.  I don’t like my soup completely pureed.  Do you?   I like to see and be able to bite pieces of broccoli and carrots.  And there has to be LOTS and LOTS of cheese.  Remember I am the cheesiest!  Let’s fill some bread bowls!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 pounds broccoli florets, divided

1/2 medium onion, small dice

1 cup carrots, small dice

1 tsp. finely chopped garlic

3 Tbs. room temperature butter, divided

1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling

32 oz. carton chicken broth or stock

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1 cup half and half

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tbs.flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse and trim the broccoli florets.  Place on a clean kitchen towel to drain.  Pat half the broccoli dry and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Using your hands, mix the broccoli around to evenly distribute the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.  In a large Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat.  Add onions and carrots.  Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Pour in the chicken broth, bouillon cube and the remaining broccoli.  Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until broccoli and carrots are soft, stirring occasionally.  Add milk, half and half, cheese, salt and pepper.  When small bubbles start to form turn heat down to medium low and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the 2 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs. flour until all of the flour is incorporated into the butter.  Drop small pieces into the pot.  Stir it around until the butter melts and the soup begins to thicken.  Use an immersion blender to slightly puree the soup, but still leaving it chunky.  Add as much of the roasted broccoli as you’d like to the soup.  I ended up using about half of it.  Cook and stir until thick, hot and bubbly.  Enjoy!

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda

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About glendaclark

Hi there! My name is Glenda and I love food. Cooking and baking are my creative outlets. You'll find me in the kitchen laughing, singing, dancing and cooking or baking. I'm wife to my green eyed Irish guy, mother of four and grandmother of four. These are the chronicles of life as Glenda, the good witch of cake. Warning: may contain cartoon moments, butter and sugar.

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