Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a comforting and flavorful dish that marries the earthy essence of broccoli with the rich, creamy indulgence of sharp cheddar cheese. This soup offers a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, making it a beloved choice for many. The broccoli brings a satisfying crunch and vibrant green color, while its mild bitterness contrasts beautifully with the smooth, velvety cheese base. The creaminess of the cheddar cheese not only adds depth but also provides a luscious, comforting quality that coats the palate, creating a truly indulgent experience.
Moreover, beyond its delightful taste, Broccoli Cheddar Soup is celebrated for its nutritional value. Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to overall health. This soup provides a clever way to incorporate this nutritious vegetable into a delicious meal, making it an excellent option for those seeking both flavor and nourishment. Its versatility allows for variations in texture and seasoning, catering to individual preferences and dietary needs, while remaining a go-to choice for warmth and satisfaction during cooler seasons.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)
Chopped fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)
In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
Sprinkle the flour over the onion and garlic mixture. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour, creating a roux.
Gradually pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Add the broccoli florets and diced carrot to the pot. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the broccoli is tender but not mushy.
Use an immersion blender or transfer portions of the soup to a blender (in batches) to puree the soup until smooth. Leave some broccoli florets intact if desired for texture.
Return the blended soup to the pot. Stir in the whole milk and shredded cheddar cheese until the cheese is melted and fully incorporated into the soup.
Pour in the heavy cream or half-and-half, and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg if using. Stir well and let the soup simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes to heat through and meld the flavors.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If the soup is too thick, you can add more broth or milk to reach your desired consistency.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, chopped fresh chives or parsley for added flavor and color (optional).
Enjoy your creamy and flavorful Broccoli Cheddar Soup! Adjust the seasoning and thickness according to your preference.