Broccoli cheddar soup with potatoes

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium potato, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 broccoli crowns, rinsed and chopped, plus more for garnishing if desired
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, plus more for garnishing if desired
  • crumbled bacon for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until it begins to be translucent. Add the potatoes and cook for an additional five minutes. When the potatoes are tender, but not thoroughly cooked, add the carrots and celery and stir well. Continue to sauté the mixture until both the potatoes and carrots are fork tender and the onions are translucent.
  2. Pour the chicken stock into the Dutch oven and bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and cover, allowing the mixture to simmer for about twenty minutes.
  3. Add broccoli and replace cover, allowing the broccoli to steam for five minutes. Uncover and remove from heat. With an immersion blender, blend soup until most of the larger broccoli pieces are pureed but the soup still has some chunky vegetables. This step gives the soup a creamy texture. If you prefer a thoroughly pureed soup, go ahead and blend completely. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can alternatively use a traditional blender for this step.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add flour and stir, allowing the mixture to cook until it turns golden brown, about one minute or so. Slowly pour in milk and cream, whisking constantly. Allow the mixture to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a rubber spatula. Add grated cheddar cheese and stir until it is melted and combined.
  5. Slowly pour cheese sauce into the Dutch oven and bring soup back to a simmer over medium heat, stirring thoroughly. Allow soup to heat through and then serve immediately. Garnish with additional cheese, broccoli and crumbled bacon, if desired.
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