Saturday, October 5, 2013

Broccoli cheese medley in a bread loaf

I am so excited to share this soup recipe. It is 100% mine and made totally from scratch. I love to cook and try new things. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't and my time and energy ends up in the trash.... but that's just part of the game :)
This time I feel like I have made something good enough worth sharing.
The soup is cheesy, creamy and full of vegetables. I hope you enjoy it!
First you will need to know how to make a roux. If you want to see a quick tutorial, look here.
My mom told me about this amazing little product, and it is so awesome. I like it way better than bouillon crystals and it is also gluten free. The chicken flavor is much stronger making for a more flavorful broth!

I filled a measuring bowl with 1 1/2 quarts of water. I added about 2 tablespoons of this chicken stock base. Mix it up and add it to your roux a little bit at a time, so that the broth stays thick. Now  mix in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.
Note: if you have bouillon and home or chicken stock you can use that instead, I just love the flavor I get from this base.

Next I cut up some carrots and half of a sweet onion and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I sautéed them until they were tender.
Now for the broccoli. I used about 5 bunches (2 large and 3 small). You will want to leave them on the stem to make it easier to collect after they are done steaming.


Next plop them into a pot of shallow boiling salted water. You don't want to fully submerge them in the water because we want to keep them a little bit firm in the soup.
Steam them for about 5-7 minutes, or until the water turns a pretty green color and the broccoli is a really bright green. Strain them and set aside in a bowl.

After they have cooled enough to cut, set aside one of the large bunches and chop up the remaining broccoli. Add it to the broth along with the carrots and onions.
 Now, if I was cool and had an immersion blender (dear Santa I want an immersion blender for Christmas) I would use it here. But I don't, so instead I added the soup to a bowl and put it in the fridge until it cooled down a little. This step was necessary so that I can add it to my blender to chop it into finer pieces. CAUTION: if you try to add the soup while it is hot, the steam will pop the top of the blender off and you could get burned... don't try this just be patient and let it cool.
So after it was cool enough to blend, I added the soup and hit the "chop" button. I didn't want to puree it or blend it too much. I like that you can still see what veggies are in the soup and also keep it so it has some texture.
Now pour it back into your pot and turn on the heat to low. Slowly warm the soup back up and add in 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Stir the cheese and it will slowly melt and blend into the broth. These ingredients will add a delectable richness to the soup. You will love it!
Remember that large bunch of broccoli we saved? Chop it into bigger pieces and add it to the soup. This will make for a great texture, creamy and smooth with all sizes of veggies.

 Now you can enjoy the soup plain or inside a bread loaf like this...
If you would like to follow my tutorial on bread bowls to go with your soup... look here
Hope you like it!

NOTE: If you want to make the soup GLUTEN FREE, you will need to void the roux and replace it with corn starch as your thickener. Also, make sure that your onion and garlic powder and cheese come from a gluten free producer.

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