{recipe} Cheesy Broccoli Carrot Soup

I don’t know if it’s the cooler weather, the Christmas music that started playing before Halloween, or what – but lately all I can think about is warm, creamy, hearty, cheesy food. At work I surf comfort food on Pinterest and dream about the rich, dairy-laden things I’m going to make for dinner. But at some point, you have to throw a few vegetables into the mix too. Broccoli cheese soup seemed like a good start – but most of the recipes I found had heavy cream or half-and-half in them, and it just sounded unnecessary, even for me. I came up with a lighter recipe that is still super creamy – but uses chicken broth, leeks, carrots, and cheese to get a great flavor and texture. You won’t miss the cream one bit!

broccoli

I like to have this with some garlic toast on the side. It tastes even better a day or two after making it.

2 notes:

1. Don’t worry about chopping the vegetables evenly or attractively – you are going to puree them later, so it doesn’t matter.

2. If you are dairy-free or vegan, you can make this without the cheese, use vegetable broth, and substitute oil for the butter – you will still have a good result, although it won’t be quite as creamy. Or, just try my Toasted Broccoli Soup with Lemongrass and Coriander since it’s vegan all the way.

RECIPE: Cheesy Broccoli Carrot Soup
serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced and rinsed very well
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 4 Tblsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 lb broccoli florets, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice – I used a mix of cheddar and monterey jack
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leeks and carrots and saute, stirring frequently, until leeks are soft and just starting to brown. Remove from pot and set aside.
  • Add butter to the pot and melt. Add flour and whisk together, cooking until very thick and pasty, about 1-2 minutes. Add broth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cooked leeks and carrots. Lower heat and cover. Simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes until vegetables are very soft.
  • Puree in a blender in batches until smooth. Return to cooking pot and add cheese. Stir well. Serve immediately.
  • You can also refrigerate or freeze the soup and reheat it to serve later.
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