Tuesday, April 28, 2009

{Insert Clever Title Here} (or how to make broccoli cheese soup)

My brain has stopped working lately. It's a lot like placenta brain (you know, when you're pregnant and you get really absent minded - and let's be honest, stupid, because the placenta is sucking all of your brain power), but I'm not pregnant. Anyway, that's not what this post is about.

The last couple of days have been dark and overcast and rainy and cold. Which I don't mind - no really, being from Arizona, you learn to love dark, rainy days - because you don't see them very often, so they're a treat! Anyhow, so on days like that, it's best to curl up with a big fluffy blanket and read a book, or a blog or two, and then make soup or chili for dinner (I did both on two different nights - it was heavenly!) Unless of course, you have two boys who are driving you crazy and are in serious need of some energy release, then you go for a walk in between rains.
But let's be honest, you end up loving it - even though it is windy and a little chilly. Someone was even out mowing their lawn, so it smelled nice too.
Actually, it was really nice.
But how could it not be with these little cuties?

Anyhow, before I get too sidetracked, this post is actually about one of my favorite soups. Actually, I really love soup, and they are all "one of my favorites", but broccoli cheese soup is just so yummy and I have perfected the recipe, just for you! So, here are the directions for the broccoli cheese soup that we had. Yummy, yummy!
First, melt 5 or 6 tablespoons of butter in a big pot. Usually, I use unsalted butter. This time I think I used a mix because that is what I had.
Then add an equal amount of flour and whisk, whisk, whisk so there are no lumps and cook it for about a minute or so.
Then add some chicken broth. I used a box, plus about half a box of water and a couple of chicken bouillon cubes, plus another can of chicken broth. Then whisk, whisk, whisk so there are no lumps.
Then add some broccoli. I like these bags of broccoli because all the washing and chopping is done for me. I used just one bag, but I could have used 2. (And bummer that the picture is out of focus!) Also, add some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to the soup.
Then let your broccoli cook for about 10 minutes, or until it's tender.
Next, add some heavy cream. Yum. I think I used about a cup. (I'm really bad about measuring.) It may have been closer to a cup and a half though.
Next, start adding your cheese. I used about 4 cups of cheese. 3 1/2 cups of it was sharp cheddar. You want to sprinkle the cheese with about a tablespoon of flour and mix it with your fingers. Then add it to the soup a handful at a time and stir, stir, stir in between. The key to making sure your soup is not stringy with cheese but rather creamy with cheese, is the stirring!
I also used about half a cup of Parmesan cheese. Normally, I like the Parmesan and Romano mix, but this is what I had. No need to mix it with the flour if it is already powdered. If I am feeling extra decadent, I also add some blue cheese, but you must make sure the blue cheese is the very best and not at all bitter, otherwise you will ruin your soup! The blue cheese should be coated with a little bit a flour also. At this point, be sure to taste it to see if you need anymore salt or pepper (or more cheese!). I usually end up adding more fresh ground pepper - I love pepper (and more cheese)!
Finally, serve it up with some crusty sourdough bread. (Safeway's bakery has the best sourdough bread in the world! I am absolutely sure of this! But a good alternative is the frozen bread you can buy at Sam's Club. I prefer the roasted garlic kind.) Or Kara's garlic breadsticks are also a good alternative. And they're pretty easy to make, I just wasn't ambitious enough to do it this time. Here's the recipe for those:

Kara's Garlic Breadsticks
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 T. yeast
3 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Put the water, sugar and salt in your mixer (or bowl) then add the flour and sprinkle the yeast on top. Knead for 3 mins. Add 1/2 c. flour if dough is too sticky. Let stand for 10 mins. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 1/2 c. butter on cookie sheet (or less. I think I use 1/4 cup). Roll dough out on floured counter about 1 inch thick. Cut into strips. Roll strips in melted butter. Place on buttered pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Let rise for 30 mins. Bake at 375 for 20 mins. Or until lightly brown.

Hugs & Kisses from Charmaine


Kristina P. said...

I do love broccoli cheese soup, and that looks delicious.

Erin said...

Mmmm mmm!

Tracey said...

Your food posts always make me hungry:) Yum!

domestic bliss said...

what little cuties & yum. Thanks for stopping over to our blog. I love yours! I will definitely stop by again! I am off to clean up my messes now- I loved seeing your organization one below to btw!

Amy said...

I totally get what you mean about the rain being from AZ and all. I took my kiddos to the beach today because it's supposed to rain for the next three days.

The brocoli cheese soup looks DELISH and I am definately going to attempt to make it. Brocoli cheese soup is my favorite but I haven't found the perfect one yet. Maybe this one. Thanks for sharing Charmaine!

And as always your boys are so handsome! I'm loving the hat on Elijah. Goes perfect with his eyes.

Jenny Lynn said...

you have commented quite a few times lately about NOT being pregnant. it sounds a little bit like you are projecting... whats the deal?

Charmaine said...

I was just thinking that when I posted it today, Jenny. I think the birth control I have to be on is messing with my hormones and making me feel all pregnant!

Katy said...

Yum! What kind of camera do you have? It takes BEAUTIFUL pictures (my husband and I are in the market for a new camera). Thanks! Love your site
-From MBC 100 club :)

Linda said...

Yum! I'm hungry for lunch now. Looks great! :)

Melody Campbell said...

This looks sooooo yummy and I do agree that Safeway Bakery has THE BEST Sourdough Bread.