I am almost certain this recipe was thought up one night by someone who needed to use up the ingredients that were lingering in the fridge. I believe this because that's exactly what lead me to make this soup on Monday night. I had 3/4 of a package of broccoli florets from Trader Joe's and a motley crew of cheeses, all needing to be consumed asap.
Everyone keeps a few onions on hand, right? You should if you don't. They last a long time if stored properly, not to mention almost every great recipe starts with butter, onions & garlic! The fragrance of those three simple ingredients cooking away in a pan makes me swoon every-single-time. It never fails.
You can use any cheese you have, really. I just used my leftovers from a cheese plate we brought to a friends house. Anything that will melt. I'm sure there are cheeses that go better with broccoli than others, though. Feel free to experiment.
Since I was sort of winging this recipe when I made it, I steamed the broccoli in the stock, then sort of mashed them up with my potato masher. I then added in the onion roux mixture. After looking up a couple of Broccoli Cheese Soup recipes, it seems you can do the roux, whisk in the chicken stock then add the broccoli to that. Cook until tender and then blend. (See Emeril's recipe I link below)
If you don't usually keep chicken stock on hand, I highly recommend these little packets from Trader Joe's. They give you 12 packets to a box, its is basically chicken stock concentrate. Add 1 packet to 1 cup of hot water and voila! The don't take up any space in the pantry and last for a couple years. Like bouillon. Brilliant.
Below is a basic recipe, feel free to experiment with different cheeses and maybe some spices. Emeril has an interesting recipe here that I may try next time.
ANC's Broccoli Cheese Soup
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 package of broccoli florets (or frozen broccoli)
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese
In a large sauce pot bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook / steam until tender, for 10 minutes. Once tender, partially mash the florets with a potato masher to break them up.
Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook until soft. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Next add the flour and stir until all of the moisture is soaked up by the flour. Let it cook for a minute or two to eliminate any raw flour taste. Turn off the heat and stir in the half and half.
Add the contents of the frying pan to the pot of broccoli and stir until blended. Remove from the heat and puree with an immersion blender. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted.
Serve warm with bread sticks or crusty french bread.
Perfect for a cool fall evening with the one you love <3