Broccoli and Cheese Soup Recipe

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Submitted By: Taz

Ingredients:

1 lb Fresh Broccoli - cut into bite sized florets
½ lb Sharp -OR- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese - grated + extra for garnish
1 Large Carrot - grated using the largest holes on box grater -OR- diced
1 Small Onion - small chopped
3 Cups Chicken Stock - can substitute vegetable stock if desired
2 Cups Half-and-Half - can substitute heavy cream if desired
¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
6 Tbs Unsalted Butter
¼ tsp Fresh Ground Nutmeg
2 Bay Leaves
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Preparation:
  1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat - Add onion and sauté until tender and slightly golden in color (apx 5 minutes)
  2. While continuously whisking, gradually add flour - Allow to cook (continuously whisking) for 3-4 minutes or until a blond roux is achieved
  3. Whisk in the half-and-half/heavy cream until fully incorporated and smooth - Add chicken stock, nutmeg, bay leaves, fresh ground black pepper and salt (apx ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper) and bring to a simmer - Reduce heat to maintain simmer and allow to cook uncovered for 20 minutes
  4. Add broccoli and carrot and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or until broccoli and carrots are tender - Remove and discard bay leaves - Remove from heat
  5. -OPTIONAL- Transfer 1-2 cups (up to half) of soup to a blender and purée until smooth and return to pot (this makes for a smoother, 'creamier' soup if desired)
  6. Whisk in the grated cheese a bit at a time until fully melted and incorporated (doing this off the heat ensures that the soup will not become 'grainy')
  7. Adjust consistency - If soup is too thick, add additional half-and-half/cream -OR- water to thin - if too thin, add additional cheese
  8. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
  9. Serve hot garnished with additional grated cheddar cheese along with a generous 'hunk' of crusty bread (preferably sourdough)

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