One of my favorite soups is Broccoli Cheddar. I got hooked on it years ago when I tried it at Panera’s. I didn’t attempt to make it myself though until I came across a recipe from The Pioneer Woman. And while it is delicious it makes 12 servings. Now, I have no problem eating leftovers or cooking something to eat over the course of a few days, but 12 servings is a bit much. That’s A LOT of soup for one person! Recently, by chance, I came across a recipe for broccoli cheddar soup that was the perfect amount – 2 servings!
Now, the recipe seemed so simple that I had my doubts that it could be delicious, but it was. Truthfully, sometimes the simplicity of ingredients makes a recipe all that better. You can enjoy the flavor of what you are making without it being masked by other ingredients. If you are making broccoli cheddar soup what you really want to taste is the broccoli and cheddar, and that’s what you get with this soup and in less than 30 minutes. You can’t beat that.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter on medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté until the onions are tender. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until well combined. Gradually add in the milk and then the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until the soup has thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the broccoli and cook until heated through. If using frozen broccoli cook until the broccoli is tender and no longer frozen. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
Whenever I go to Panera and I am in the mood for soup I always get the Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I am not sure what drew me to ordering the soup in the first place, because when you think about it, you would assume that a cheddar soup might be thick and overly cheesy… More like a cheese dip as opposed to a soup. But thankfully that is not the case.
Wanting to create the soup at home I came across The Pioneer Woman’s recipe that utilized one of my favorite kitchen appliances… a slow cooker. And thankfully she believes in what I do, using your slow cooker shouldn’t require too much fuss; it really should be about throwing it all in there and forgetting about it for a few hours. The only prep work I had to do was chopping up a few carrots and an onion. Which I added to my slow cooker along with cream of celery soup, chicken broth, broccoli florets, salt, black and cayenne pepper. After giving it a few good stirs I cooked it on high for 4 hours.
After 4 hours I used an immersion blender to puree the soup.
Next I added in Velveeta and shredded cheddar cheese. I had never used Velveeta in anything prior to this – I am not even sure I have ever had it either – so, I was a little shocked by how much it cost. How could a process cheese product cost more than some basic cheeses? Insane!
After adding the cheeses I covered the soup again and cooked it on low for 15 minutes. I should note that I never turned off my slow cooker during the pureeing and adding of cheeses, I left it on the warm setting throughout. After the 15 minutes I gave the soup a few good stirs to mix in the cheeses and that was it! Definitely a quick, easy and delicious slow cooker recipe!