Slow Cooker Sunday: Broccoli Cheese Soup

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!

 

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound frozen broccoli florets

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, finely diced

3 14.5 oz. cans low sodium chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 pounds Velveeta

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

 

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker except for the Velveeta and cheddar cheese. Stir, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

After the 4 hours use and immersion blender to blend 3/4 of the soup. You can also use a blender; if doing so only blend 1 cup of soup at a time.

Add the cheeses and turn the slow cooker to low and cook covered for 15 minutes.

After the 15 minutes stir the soup to melt the cheese and mix it in. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Soup will keep in the fridge for a few days.

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

 

Buttermilk Cheddar Not Quite Biscuits

We’ve all been there, a mishap in the kitchen. Could it be the recipe, a missed ingredient, an incorrect measurement or maybe it was just an off day for your oven? I had one of those mishaps happen to me recently when I made Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits. I had some leftover buttermilk in my fridge from a previous recipe and I didn’t want to go to waste and I wanted to make something different; I’ve never made biscuits before. Unfortunately my biscuits didn’t rise and I ended up with some pretty flat biscuits – I don’t even think I can call them biscuits. I’m still not sure what exactly went wrong.

My prep work seemed to be just fine… I started by putting flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of my stand mixer.

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With the mixer on low I added in cold diced unsalted butter.

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Once the butter looked like small peas I added in a buttermilk / egg mixture and continued mixing the ingredients until the mixture was moistened.

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In a small bowl I combined shredded cheddar cheese with a small handful of butter.

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After adding in the cheddar to the dough I dumped the dough onto a well-floured surface and kneaded the dough a few times and then rolled it into a rectangle.

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I then sliced the dough into 8 pieces and placed it onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and brushed them with an egg wash.

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After baking in a 425 F preheated oven for about 25 minutes this is what I got… Flat biscuits.

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Luckily they tasted really good and were a nice breakfast treat the following morning with my cup of tea! Thankfully my mishap wasn’t a total loss.

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What kind of mishaps have you encountered in your cooking and baking adventures?

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

Yield: 8 Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken

1 cold extra-large egg

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 F

2. Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low. Add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

3. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl or measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and mix only until it’s moistened. In a small bowl mix the cheddar cheese with a handful of flour. Add the cheese to the dough, still mixing it on low, and mix until roughly combined.

4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead lightly about 6 times. Rolled the dough out to a rectangle (10 by 5 inches.) With a sharp floured knife cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Can serve hot or warm.

Mushroom & Sausage Quiche

Usually I add ground sausage to my Thanksgiving stuffing, this year though I was on the fence as to whether or not to add it in. As you can guess from this post I opted not to add it, but then the question was what to do with it. I could have frozen it and used it another time but then I remembered a recipe I had for a quiche that called for sausage and mushrooms, another ingredient for the quiche that I had left over from said stuffing. The recipe – Mushroom & Sausage Quiche – is one I came across in a cookbook I picked up years ago and ended up not using. While it was filled with many recipes most of them weren’t appealing to me except this one – which I ended up photocopying and then donating the book.

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I began by cooking the ground sausage.

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While the ground sausage was cooking I chopped up half a Vidalia onion and sliced half-a-pound of white mushrooms.

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After the sausage was cooked I transferred it to a bowl and wiped the skillet down and cooked the chopped onions and sliced mushrooms in a tablespoon of melted butter.

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Meanwhile in the bowl of my food processor I combined eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese (those of you not fond of cottage cheese don’t worry once the quiche is done you won’t even remember it’s there), flour and parmesan cheese and blended them until the mixture was smooth.

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I then stirred together the sausage, sautéed onions and mushrooms, the egg mixture and shredded sharp Cheddar cheese in a large bowl.

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And then spooned it into my pie dish which I fitted with a refrigerated piecrust.

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Following that I baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for about 50 minutes.

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After letting it cool for about 10 minutes I sliced into it and enjoyed the every bite of it!

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Mushroom and Sausage Quiche 

Ingredients:

One 9-inch refrigerated piecrust, fitted into a 9-inch glass plate

One 1-pound package ground sausage

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 cup cottage cheese, 2% or 4% milk fat

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon hot sauce*

One 8-ounce package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

*I omitted this from my version

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Crimp the edges of the crust.

2. In a large skillet, cook and drain the sausage, and set aside. Wipe out the pan, and in the same pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until tender.

3. Place the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, flour, Parmesan cheese, and hot sauce in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Stir together the crumbled sausage, mushroom mixture, egg mixture, and Cheddar cheese, and spoon into the piecrust. Cover the edges of the piecrust with aluminum foil to prevent the crust from burning.

5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and the center is set. Cool for 10 minutes and cut into 8 wedges.