As with all good things there comes a time when it needs to be shared. Well, as I was making this soup for a dinner party I was asked by several people for the recipe. That is easier said than done since I like to take a recipe of someone else’s and just tweak it as I go along. Sometimes I do things the conventional way and many times I do it my own way. I suppose that is why I love cooking so much – because it can be left up to my interpretation.
My apologies if it seems complicated or long. But I assure you that if you just use the guidelines I have given in the recipe, you will have a successful product in the end!
Try not to squint at the pictures to get them into focus. When I imported them on to my page something happened with the resolution. As they say on tv, do not adjust your “computer screen”
Here it is…
First get ready to cook all your vegetables. Cut up your onions, carrots and celery (mirepoix) into small dices.
Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to a 5 quart pot and turn on medium high heat.
Add your “mirepoix” and begin to sauté them. You don’t want to caramelize them so just before they begin to turn brown, add some water and let it reduce until the mirepoix is soft and there is a little liquid left in the pan (see also “From Raw to Sautéd and the flavor In-Between).
While the mirepoix is cooking, rough chop enough broccoli to equal 4 cups (give or take a cup or so).
Now check your mirepoix to see if it is soft and a little liquid left in the pan.
Once your vegetables are soft you want to blend them into a pureé. How you want to do that is completely up to you. I personally have a little immersion blender with a mini food processor attachment. You can use a fork, blender, potato masher, bottom of your shoe (not recommended but highly effective!)… whatever you have around that will mash them up into a perfect pureé! Preferably not your teeth.
If it looks unappealing and like baby food, you’ve accomplished your task. But hold on, don’t judge by it’s appearance (I think I’ve heard that before). It has wonderful flavor that you are going to add to your soup later. Set this aside for now and try not to forget about it.
Ok, now you want to add the chicken stock to your pot (use the same pot you just cooked your vegetables in, don’t wash it!) and your broccoli. Begin cooking that over medium heat until the broccoli is nice and soft. Does that sound familiar?
To multitask you can cut up the 7 slices of bacon and begin cooking. Cook until it is nice and crsip and all the fat has been cooked off the meat.
When your broccoli is fork tender (you can pierce it with a fork without any resistance) get your immersion blender out again and begin blending the soup into submission. You are looking for small chunks no bigger than a bean or pea size.
At this point get out a small sauce pan and melt 1 stick of butter. While whisking the butter vigorously, you will add 1/2-3/4 a cup of flour . You want it to be paste-like with no lumps.
Add this mixture to the soup mixture while whisking vigorously and continue to whisk until everything is combined without lumps of flour floating around. We don’t want dumplings in our broccoli soup!
While the soup is almost ready we still need to cut up some roasted chicken into bean size pieces and add it. I just used leftover chicken I had from a previous dinner.
I know the recipe is called “Cream Cheesy Broccoli Soup” with no sight of chicken but I didn’t want to title it “Creamy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Soup”. See, it’s just a little too long! Besides, this gives you the option of using chicken, or not!
To finish off the soup properly, you’ll need to add 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup milk and 3 cups of cheddar cheese. Also, (hope you didn’t forget) add your vegetable pureé and stir it all up! From this point, all you need is to season it the way you like it. Some salt, some pepper, some garlic powder if you please.
All this work and now your soup is ready. Dish it up and garnish with some bacon. Bon Appetite!
If you feel the soup isn’t thick enough, before adding the cream, milk and cheese, you can either repeat the steps of making a “roux” (butter and flour) and add it to the soup or you can make a “slurry” of cornstarch and water (equal parts) and add it to the soup until it is the thickness you desire. That is what’s great about cooking – you can add what you like and forget what you don’t.
Here is the recipe so you don’t have to follow my pictures for each step!
Creamy Cheesy (Chicken) Broccoli Soup
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup butter
1/2- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
11 cups chicken stock
1 2-3 lb roasted chicken – cut into bean-size pieces
2 heads fresh broccoli, or 4 cups cut up florets
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 cup milk
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
7 slices of bacon (garnish)
- In a 5-quart pot add carrots, celery and onion. Saute them with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium high heat. When vegetables are soft, place them with their liquid into a blender and pureé. Set them aside.
- Add chicken stock and broccoli to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
- Blend the soup with an emersion blender until broccoli is about bean size (or cut up the broccoli really fine before cooking).
- In a separate pan, melt 1 stick of butter in a pan. Add flour to the butter whisking vigorously until mixture resembles a thick paste with no lumps. Now add to the soup a little at a time while whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Cut up roasted chicken into bean size pieces and add to soup. Then add the cream, milk and vegetable pureé.
- Add cheese 1 cup at a time making sure to incorporate the cheese well after each addition.
- Season appropriately and enjoy! Garnish with the bacon pieces.
(The 7 slices of bacon are for garnish but you are more than welcome to make up more if you like and add it directly to the soup. Remember, it’s what you like!)