Tonight, I went to an engagement dinner for a couple of friends, and after 2 glasses of wine I'm a little sleepy, so I'll be heading to bed soon, but first I wanted to share this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup that I made Sunday night.
It's a little cooler out tonight, but still not the crisp fall weather I'm looking forward to. I make a lot of soups in the fall and winter. Not only is it easy, warming and nutritious, but a great way to use up ingredients in your fridge that are looking for a home. My mom makes a wonderful Thanksgiving leftovers soup that has everything from turkey to stuffing to sweet potato casserole, and it's completely amazing!
Last week, I made a broccoli-cauliflower souffle topped with crispy bread crumbs one night - I didn't think it was bad, but Jamie wasn't that crazy about it (I admit, it was nowhere nearly as good as the carrot souffle he made...). So I picked up a little more broccoli, and made broccoli soup Sunday night, using the rest of the uneaten souffle as a thickener for the soup. Since I make soup so frequently when it's cold out, I try to keep my recipes nutritious with fresh, light ingredients. I don't use butter or cream, reserving that mostly for desserts.
So this broccoli cheese soup is a lightened up version of what you may be used to, but just as good (in my opinion!). Low sodium, fat-free chicken broth and skim milk replace the cream and butter found in most broccoli soups, and just a cup of grated cheddar and a few pieces of turkey bacon add flavor and richness. Some leftover salad greens added more color and nutrients.
Since I'm sure you don't have a leftover broccoli souffle in your fridge, I've included in my recipe below the use of a little flour to thicken up the broth. You can also add less liquid at the beginning, if you're not sure how thick or thin you want the broth, and then add more liquid later.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Turkey Bacon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices turkey bacon, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 broccoli florets, chopped, including the stems
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- 2 cups salad greens
- salt and pepper
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the bacon, onion and celery. Add a pinch of salt, and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the broccoli and chicken broth. Whisk together the milk and flour, and add to the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Once the soup is bubbling, add the cheese, a handful at a time. Add the salad greens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the soup for another 15-20 minutes until broccoli is tender and the broth has thickened.