Spring is here! What a wondrous and renewing season it is. Wait, that was a couple of weeks ago, Mother Nature seems to have other plans and has brought back the biting cold weather reminiscent of winter. What a cruel, cruel, joke! Yesterday I was so cold, with the wind and rain whipping outside of my window, all I craved was something warm to fill my belly. So, soup was naturally a perfect choice for our dinner.
I remember when I tried Broccoli and Cheddar soup for the first time. It was magical. It was sublime. It probably had no real broccoli OR cheddar in it. I still love it though, but have now realized how easy and healthier it is to make at home. My version has fewer calories too, because I swap full fat cream for 2% milk and a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it. I added some fennel to make it sing, and I love topping soup with crispy things, mine with french fried onions, but you can use whatever your heart desires! Silky, delicious, and filling, what more could you want?
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 a small onion, chopped
2 tbsp of fresh fennel tops, chopped
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
1 cube vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
3 cups 2% milk
1 tbsp instant cornstarch
3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Crispy onions (or whatever you want)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large stock pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion, fennel tops and broccoli, sauté for about 8 minutes or until soft. Add the vegetable stock, salt, water and milk and lower heat to medium low. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Take off heat and let cool for about 10 minutes before processing. Place soup in a blender and pulse, for less time if you want it chunky. I wanted mine smooth, so I pulsed for about 45 seconds.
Return to stock pot, add the cornstarch and reheat for about 2 more minutes. Add the cheeses and stir. Serve into bowls and top with a little more cheese, crispy onions and freshly ground pepper.
From my kitchen to yours,