Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weeknight Dinner: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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I am loving soup this season, aren't I?  Honestly, these are my final days in Boston and amid the frenzy of packing, moving, and saying my good-byes, a warm pot of soup is like a big hug.  That is probably one of the reasons I have been so anxious to make them over the past few weeks. 

Broccoli Cheddar soup has long been one of Mom's guilty pleasures.  She loves it but is very calorie-conscious.  Trying the soup with John first, I figured if it came out really good, I could replicate it when I move back home over the next few weeks.  Mom and Dad frequently eat low-cal, easy prep meals.  But the future of this blog, and my own sanity rest on the creative things I will be able to make them in the coming weeks.  I mean, really, who wants to read about fat-free Italian Dressing soaked chicken three times a week?

Also who really wants to eat it three times a week?  Well, I remarked that to sister M over Thanksgiving and she got so offended!  "But that's one of my favorite meals", she sighed.  Yes, we know.  She is picky.  Anyway, this soup came from the Food Network Magazine.  It also said it would only serve four people.  It served closer to 6-8 for me and John, and I had played with the ingredients a little.  I reduced the potatoes that the recipe called for by half and still thought it was plenty (it gave a very thick, delicious soup).  It also is made in under 40 minutes.  I chopped (as usual) everything the day before.  Put them in their own little baggies which made dinner go by much faster.  Another hint:  the smaller you chop the potatoes in the beginning, the faster this will go!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup (adapted from Food Network Magazine)
Serves:  6-8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1-15 ounce can of low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon
3 teaspoons black pepper
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 1/3 cups sharp cheddar cheese

Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add chicken broth, half-and-half, potatoes, bay leaves, 2 cups water, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes).  When the potatoes are fork-tender, remove the bay leaves.  Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and let it come to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Stir in the broccoli and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Add the cheese slowly, stirring until it is fully melted.  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


I froze the leftovers and we ate the soup throughout the next week; we liked it just as much as leftovers as we did freshly made!

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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