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January football playoff season always has our house in a bit of a frenzy… Pacing, gasping, fist-pumping, “GO! GO! GO!” “NOOOO!!!!” ” He should have kept his head up! What kind of call was THAT Ref?!?!?” and snacking (in an attempt to dull the pain? I’m just guessing…) #welost #whowasplayingagain?
Along with the sounds of cheer and disappointment, this year we also got to deal with a 30 mph windstorm (common up here near the Columbia Gorge), so we do whatever we can to stay warm inside, away from the falling branches and flying lawn toys (not ours, we don’t have a yard).
I kept myself busy today cleaning and organizing our pantry and our fridge to make room for groceries tomorrow (have I mentioned how much I HEART Walmart Grocery Pickup Lately?!? It’s going to save two hours of my time tomorrow!). Three pounds of broccoli won’t cook itself, and I had an open quart of half-and-half that needed to find a home, so this recipe surfaced. Welcome to our Insanely Delicious Broccoli Cheese Soup!
Husband thought maybe I should share the recipe since it seems like he likes it (he’s eating his fourth bowl now…) I always test my best recipes on him 😉 And since our 4 yo and 1 yo ate every last drop in their bowls, I’d consider this one a success!
In a 6 quart stockpot, melt butter over med-high heat.
Add onion, stir and cook until translucent (about 4-5 minutes).
Add 1/4-1/3 cup AP flour (amount ranges, you're looking to make a runny paste-like rue but not to the point of concrete), stir and cook until golden brown.
Add 2 cups milk or half-and-half and whisk to combine,dissolving any small lumps of flour.
Stir in chicken stock, add nutmeg (if using), bay leaves, salt, and pepper to taste.
Cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes until mixture is reduced.
Add broccoli florets and cook for another 20 minutes until soft (frozen broccoli will take a little less time).
Remove bay leaves and blend soup using an immersion blender.
Add shredded cheese to mixture and stir to melt and combine. Reserve some cheese for topping if desired.
Serve immediately in bowls or if you prefer, sourdough bread bowls (with centers carved out).
Nutmeg is a popular spice to add to this soup (I think it brings out a little sweetness to the meal), but I omitted it tonight since Husband isn't a fan.
It's important to note that even though I was writing and taking pictures of this process on the fly tonight, I TOO make mistakes! Don't forget to take out the bay leaves before you blend the soup! I noticed too late. While I was able to fish out most of the larger chunks, I really did a number on the leaves, and the remaining pieces were too small to notice 😉 No one complained, however, I think it added to the flavor of the soup!
I DO hope you enjoy this recipe- it's a frequent request in our home from the kids!