This was a great test for my new Christmas gift, an immersion blender. I didn’t have to transfer the hot soup to a blender and I did it right in the pan. For this recipe, I’m glad I got two heads of broccoli to be safe. I did not have to add additional water in the second-to-last step, but you should monitor it. This is a true keeper! I threw out my old recipe for cheesy broccoli soup! I wouldn’t substitute milk for the half-and-half, this recipe needs its fat and creaminess. I served with sourdough on the side. ENJOY!
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
- 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth.
- Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- (OPTIONAL): Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.
- Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you’ll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)
- Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick.
- Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.