There is absolutely no denying the undeniable fact that fall is by far my favorite season. And if that sentence doesn’t get the point across I don’t know what will. Born and raised in northern California, I never realized how much I was conditioned to changing seasons and appreciating the descriptive adjectives I could use to pinpoint the season. However, now living in a place where, don’t get me wrong, the weather is beautiful and there is not a day I don’t appreciate sunshine however if there is one complaint it is that I miss season change. I often walk by the sole tree on the campus that actually changes color and at first always makes me laugh but then makes me wish the tree lined streets and neighborhoods where all you see are typical fall colors in every tree and that crisp air nearly takes your breath away.
So, if fall will not appear around me, I will just have to bring it into my life with none other than fantastic fall recipes and yes, soup. I did not realize until about a year ago how easy it is to make soup, given the fact that i don’t usually stock heavy cream or a large amount of half and half to make a creamy soup I usually skipped over those recipes thinking maybe some day I would attack them. But if there is one thing I have realized and accepted since embarking on this cooking lifestyle, it is that with certain seasons you just need to stock certain ingredients. I wouldn’t be able to buy mulling spices from Trader Joes in the middle of the summer so I just have to jump on the opportunity when it presents itself.
I have never made broccoli cheddar soup but nothing sounded better one day that I was stuck downtown waiting for my roommate to get off work so that she could take me home. (It also happened to be a day that I apparently wanted to cling on to summer and wear shorts….bad idea, even in southern California let me tell you). Regardless, I finally got home and attempted this soup. I had a general recipe, but when it comes to soup it really just involves throwing everything together in a big pot and then blending it into soup consistency in the end. So I also decided to add onions, which I would never pass up, and a potato to make the soup a little hardier. Another fantastic quality of soup is that there is never bad leftovers and all it requires is a little re-heat in the microwave.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Potatoes and Onions
4 cups of chopped fresh broccoli (or frozen if that is what you have), 4 oz grated cheddar cheese (or more if you like it more cheesy), 1/2 yellow onion chopped into big chunks, 1 potato cut into chunks*, 2 cloves garlic cut in half, 8oz heavy cream, 2 cups chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste.
1. In a large pot add 1 tbl olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Remove the onion and place in a bowl.
2. In the same pot add the broccoli and potato. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes to make sure the broccoli and potato pieces are not getting burnt. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potato pieces are fork tender.
3. Add the onion back into the mixture along with the heavy cream and salt and pepper. Once everything is heated through use an immersion blender (if you have one), a food processor (if you have one), or a good ol’ blender that has been washed thoroughly to process the mixture to a desired consistency. Return to pot.
4. Add the grated cheddar cheese and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes or until you notice all the cheese is melted and mixed in. It helps to stir it every couple minutes. Enjoy!
* I generally leave the skin on my potatoes, especially if i know it will get blended together like in this soup, simply because potato skin is a great source of fiber and we generally do not get enough in our diets.