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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The temperatures have dropped, the skies are grey and the weather is cold. This is the perfect weather to have a warm bowl of soup for lunch or dinner. I enjoy soups, especially during winter. The lighter ones serve as great appetizers while the heartier ones are complete meals. Broccoli cheddar soup is a hearty soup. Add a dinner roll and you don’t need to prepare anything else. I hadn’t tasted broccoli cheddar soup for the longest time, as I was under the misconception that there was a lot of cheese in this soup. It was after a few years that I found out that the base of the soup is a white sauce and doesn't really have much cheese. You can add as much cheese as you want, so you can even make a low calorie version of the soup by adding less cheese.


Ingredients
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic pods, finely chopped
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 broccoli, cut into florets
1 cup milk
1/2 carrot, grated
salt to taste
pepper to taste
cheddar cheese, to taste
water


Method
In a pan, boil water. Add broccoli florets to it and let them cook till they are bright green and tender, about 3-4 minutes. At this stage the broccoli will be partially cooked, and not mushy. Process 3/4 of the broccoli through the blender and process it coarsely. Keep a few small florets aside so you can eat them in the soup.


In a deep pot, heat the oil and butter together. To this add the onions and garlic and stir fry it, till it is cooked. It should get cooked through but not brown. Then add the flour to it and fry it. The flour should get cooked through and not smell raw. However, take care not to let it brown. Add a half cup of water, while stirring it continuously. The white sauce base is formed. Then add the broccoli puree as well as pieces. Next add the the shredded carrot. Add a cup of milk and bring the mixture to a boil. At this stage, if the soup is too thick, add additional water and boil. Now, add the cheddar cheese and let it melt through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot.




Tips
You can vary the proportions of broccoli and carrot. The more carrot you add, the oranger it gets. In case you add more water and it gets too dilute for your taste, you can dissolve a tsp of corn starch/flour in a little water (about a couple of tsps) and then add it to the soup to thicken it up. To make the soup richer you can also add some cream.

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