November 23, 2015

Easy Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup

I just love the holidays! I'm always in a happy mood from Halloween until my birthday in January. There's something magical in the air, especially around Christmas time. I love the crisp air, the sparkly decor everywhere you go, and of course, that jolly bearded man in a white suit.

Not to mention, this is when I get a lot of time off. ;-)

In the winter, San Diego's sunset is around 4:30pm. And I am out the door for work when the sun is rising. So it's pretty hard for me to capitalize on that precious natural light for my blog photos. Today, however, I am on vacation!! And I have the BEST Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup recipe for you! I made it a couple of weeks ago and Greg has been raving about it ever since. My mom is flying in today from Michigan and he requested I make the soup again "for your mom." Sure, babe, for my mom. :-)

Believe it or not, this soup is a "skinny" version. It's made with a bunch of broccoli, low fat milk, and reduced fat cheddar cheese. But you wouldn't know! I keep mine kind of chunky, but you are welcome to completely puree it if you like a smoother consistency.

This is a soup that eats like a meal. Serve with crackers or in a bread bowl if you want to be fancy like that. It takes about 30 minutes of cook time and is excellent heated up. In fact, I think it tastes better the second day. It'll go quick, so make sure to double it if you have a large family. It's the perfect quick and easy pre-Thanksgiving meal.

Easy Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup
Makes five 1 2/3 cup servings

1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour (all purpose, whole wheat or ap gluten-free)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 cup fat free or low fat milk
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
1 tsp fresh pepper
4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
2 cups reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar
1 tbsp parmesan cheese

1. Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or mini food processor.
2. In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.
4. Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, then cover and cook on low until potatoes are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.
5. Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes. Add cheddar and American cheese, stir well and remove from heat.
6. Using an immersion blender, quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don't have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit.

I hope you enjoy it! What are your Thanksgiving plans this year?

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