That is … Broccoli Cheese Soup made from frozen broccoli. No, I don’t make my family eat frozen soup. Of course, you could make this recipe using fresh broccoli, but that’s usually not practical for me. I’m here at the end of the month, and I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet. I love to have fresh veggies and fruit on hand, but it can get expensive up here in Alaska. So the next best thing is frozen veggies or fruit. This is what I reach for when the pantry and the refrigerator are getting bare.
First, dice up the secret ingredients to every good soup: carrots, celery, and onion. Saute them in butter until they are beginning to get soft. Now, you could skip this step and not have the Mirepoix (the three vegetables in butter), but you’d be missing out on a LOT of flavor.
Sprinkle flour over the sauteing vegetables. Cook this for a minute or two so the flour taste is cooked out. This is the thickener, or the roux, so the more you put in, the thicker it will be. I like about a 1/3 cup of flour for this big pot of soup. You could remove the vegetables and set aside while you make the roux (butter, flour, liquid), but this way just saves time.
Add one can of the chicken stock to the roux stirring constantly. Bring it too a boil. You’ll notice that as the liquid boils it thickens up. Once it is thick, then add the second can of stock. Bring up to a boil again. Continue cooking until the vegetables are soft. Add salt & pepper generously. Reduce heat to medium. Then at this point you could use an emulsion blender to chop up the veggies. I like a chunky soup, so I leave it all like this. Besides, after the soup is assembled and simmering, the vegetables begin to break apart and reduce in size anyway.
Add the broccoli. I like using just broccoli florets, but you could use stems and florets too. A couple of options here: You could zap the frozen broccoli in the microwave just for a minute and then cut the biggest chunks into bite-sized pieces before adding them to the soup. (This is also where fresh broccoli is chopped and added to the soup.)
Or you can just dump in your broccoli as is. I do it the second way when it’s just us at home, because again, I like chunky soup. But also after the soup has cooked you can break apart really big pieces with your ladle if necessary. As the soup simmers the veggies shrink in size anyway.
Add the water, enough to cover all the vegetables. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer until the broccoli is cooked. Add the milk or cream. Basically you have a cream of broccoli soup at this point. Add salt & pepper again.
Now we get to add the cheese. I like using some Velveeta and some sharp cheddar to save time and make the soup less stringy. But you could very well add all unprocessed cheeses. The only difference is to just add very small portions of cheese at a time slowly so the cheese becomes incorporated well. My faster way is to add the Velveeta and let it melt. Then add just a little sharp cheddar to give it that extra flavor.
Soup is done! You could put it all in the crockpot and share at a potluck or banquet. Perfect for a chilly evening. Serve hot with homemade crescent rolls or crusty bread. Add a bit of shredded cheese or crumbled bacon to each serving. Hearty, cheap, easy. So yummy!
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cans chicken stock (about 4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups milk or cream
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1/4 log of Velveeta (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Salt & pepper to taste
- First, dice up the carrots, celery, and onion. Saute them in butter until they are beginning to get soft.
- Sprinkle flour over the sauteing vegetables. Cook this for a minute or two so the flour taste is cooked out.
- Add one can of the chicken stock to the roux stirring constantly. Bring it too a boil.
- Once it is thick, then add the second can of stock. Continue cooking until the vegetables are soft. Add salt & pepper generously.
- Add the broccoli.
- Add the milk and water, enough to cover all the vegetables. Bring the heat up, but don't boil. Simmer until broccoli is cooked.
- Add salt & pepper again.
- Add the cheeses and let it melt.
- Serve hot with a bit of shredded cheese or crumbled bacon on top.
- Fresh broccoli also works for this recipe. You could leave out the Velveeta, but just add the cheeses very slowly to let it incorporate through the soup evenly.