Whenever we go to Panera, Dear One chooses their broccoli cheese soup. I thought I would try again to make some that he would like. Today I did it! I cannot believe it. He said, "This is pretty good soup. Can you make it again?" Well, that is a good question. Usually I just dump in some of this and a little of that. This time I wrote it down. Yes, Dear, I can make it again!
To be honest, the whole reason this soup exists is because I steamed some broccoli in my Instant Pot for 2 minutes, but was busy doing other things when the 2 minute steaming was up and did not get back to open the Pot until it said 45 minutes on the warming cycle. When I opened up the pot, the broccoli was SO WELL STEAMED that all the cell walls in the lovely florets had totally disintegrated. I have a high tolerance for poorly cooked vegetables, but these florets were basically slime. Even I could not eat them as broccoli. Icky sticky! The only way to use them was in something like cheesy broccoli soup...so I came up with a recipe.
Cheesy Broccoli Soup
3 potatoes, washed, peeled if needed, and diced
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 1/2 cups steamed broccoli
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large handfuls grated sharp cheddar- about 2 cups
2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon vegetable seasoning
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
In a medium sized saucepan place the potatoes, onions, and carrots. Cover the vegetables with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover pot. Let cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. (In our case, I started these before Church but did not have time for them to cook all the way through so I just shut off the heat and left them until we returned. They had finished cooking with no heat under them.)
In a large sauce pan over medium heat start melting the butter then whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk and cook until the mixture is a lovely creamy brown which indicates that the flour is cooked. In the meantime, put 2 cups milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for one minute to begin warming it up. Add to the butter/flour roux and whisk continually until the mixture thickens nicely. Carefully dump in the vegetables and all the spices and stir well, until all the spices have broken up and are completely stirred into the mixture. (Clumps of dried garlic or onion granules are not the most pleasant thing to meet in your soup spoon....)
If you have very steamed broccoli as we did, use a fork to mash it well and add to the soup, stirring well. If the florets are rather large, you might want to chop them up finely before adding to the soup. Many people don't like to come upon a whole broccoli floret in their cream soup.
Finally, add in the heavy cream and give a final stir. Make sure the soup is at a good temperature for eating, then ladle into bowls. I believe this will make 8 servings. Of course, if you have a large soup bowl or mug, it will make fewer servings. You could probably do some fun garnishes but we are plain Janes here.
May I say I am just so thrilled to finally have a soup that has the seal of approval on it?!!! The one thing he did ask was what were the sharp things that looked like pine needles that caught in his teeth. I told him it was the rosemary. He suggested ground rosemary. I never thought of that. I will try that next time. In fact, I may just see if I can grind up all the rosemary in the little smoothy maker/ Nutri bullet knock-off that we have. It might work.