Even thought it was 23+ yesterday, I had a strong craving for some creamy, hearty soup that I just couldn’t shake. I really didn’t want to turn on my oven when I got home to a scorching hot house, but boy, I really wanted that soup! So as always, my stomach won the battle and I turned on that oven to add depths of flavour to this delicious, warming soup; and yes, it was worth every bead of sweat on my forehead. This soup is so chock-full of flavour and cheesy goodness that the first bite reassured me that I had made the right choice; how does that saying go? ‘What the stomach wants, the stomach gets’.. yes, I think that’s it :P
Broccoli Cheese Soup
This thick, heartening soup will warm your soul and dazzle your taste buds with the blend of vegetable goodness and cheesy deliciousness, after all Broccoli & Cheese were made to be blended and gobbled up together!
Prep Time: 10 minutes // Cook Time: 50 minutes // Yields: 4 – 6 servings
1. 2 heads broccoli, chopped into florets
2. 1 medium yellow onion
3. 2 large carrots, diced
4. 6 cloves garlic, peeled
5. 4 slices bacon
6. 1 – 1 1/2 c. aged cheddar cheese, grated
7. 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
8. 2 cups water
9. 2 TBSP grape seed oil, separated
10. 1 TBSP + 1 tsp garlic powder or flakes
11. 1 TBSP cumin powder
12. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
13. Salt & pepper to taste
14. 1 1/2 – 2 TBSP Franks Red Hot sauce
15. 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. In a large bowl, add broccoli, garlic, 1 TBSP oil, 1 TBSP garlic powder, salt & pepper and mix well; place in a single layer on large cookie sheet and bake for 25 – 35 minutes until broccoli is crisp and garlic is golden, flipping halfway through to ensure even baking.
3. Cook bacon until crisp, place on a paper towel lined sheet, and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, over medium heat add 1 TBSP oil to a large pot, add onion and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add 1 tsp garlic powder or flakes, thyme, cumin, vegetable or chicken broth, water, mix together and bring to a low boil; then reduce heat and let simmer until broccoli/garlic are done baking.
5. When ready, add broccoli/garlic to the soup, bring back to a boil; reduce and let simmer for 5 - 10 minutes; then, using an immersion blender or transferring batches to your food processor, blend until desired consistency, being careful not to burn yourself by any splatters. (I like mine to be smooth but leave small chunks in for texture, so I use a hand blender)
6. Add the Franks Red Hot sauce, Dijon mustard and cheddar cheese and mix until cheese is melted.
7. Serve immediately, garnished with crumbled bacon, more grated cheese and garlic bread or fresh bread if desired,
*Note – you can leave out the bacon to make this a vegetarian soup, just it adds a nice bit of salty deliciousness and texture to the soup