Homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I’m posting this Broccoli Cheddar soup recipe at the request of my cousin Monika, who is spending the month with our family.  I prepared this soup for dinner last night, and she wants to make it once she returns to Poland in September.  She’ll be heading off to university in Krakow, and this is a great recipe for a homesick college student.  It is economical, simple and very nutritious.   Perhaps she’ll prepare it for the new friends I know she’ll make!

I found this recipe several years ago in a magazine, and it has been a family standby ever since.  We all love it!  The kids practically lick their bowls clean, which makes me happy because the soup provides a hefty serving (or two!) of veggies.  I usually double the recipe so we have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Jodi Picoult’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup (serves 4)

3 cups chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
4 cups broccoli, chopped
Dash of garlic powder
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
Slices of crusty bread

In a large saucepan, mix chicken broth, onion, broccoli, garlic powder, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

Remove bay leaves and pour mixture into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, approximately 1 minute. (I use an immersion blender right in the pot). Reserve in a bowl.

In the original saucepan, melt butter. (I use a new saucepan as the broccoli mixture is blended in the original pot).  Whisk in flour, salt, and a little pepper until a thick paste forms. Add milk and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add cheddar; stir until it dissolves.

Pour in broccoli mixture and cook until blended. If necessary, add more chicken broth to thin. Season with additional salt and pepper. Serve with bread for dipping.

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