Growing up our mom used to make steamed broccoli and carrots that she would top with American cheese and cover it until it melted. As Tory mentioned in her Roasted Broccoli post, this is the only way she used to like broccoli. It also happened to be one of my favorite vegetables; I think the cheese may have had something to do with that… I also think that might be why Broccoli Cheese (& Carrot) Soup might be one of my favorites. It’s creamy, cheesy, and has that nostalgia factor.
I lighten this up a little by using fat free half and half, which I find gives me a similar thickness to heavy cream. I also like that this soup comes together in about a half hour.
Here’s what you need:
(plus some carrots that I forgot to include in the picture)
The first thing you need to do is chop the head of broccoli. I don’t really like the stems so I pretty much cut off the little trees or florets.
Now prep the carrots, I shredded two and finely diced the other two.
Simmer the broccoli and carrots in the chicken stock for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile dice up a medium sweet onion and 3 cloves of garlic.
Now it’s time to make the cream sauce that’s going to thicken up the soup and make it nice and creamy. Start by sautéing the onion in some butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes until it’s nice and soft Add the garlic during the last minute. Now sprinkle on some flour and stir together and let it cook for about a minute. It will be sort of thick and pasty at this point. Gradually add the milk, while you stir. It’s going to become nice and smooth, well except for the onion chunks those will stay, but the milk and flour will blend together nicely. Cook until thick – about a minute or two.
For the cheese you are going to use a combination of Velveeta and cheddar. Since the Velveeta melts so well I break this into chunks. You’re going to want to shred the cheddar yourself; a pre-shredded cheese won’t melt as well.
By this time, the broccoli and carrots should be ready. Add the cream, onion, garlic, and flour mixture and stir well. Next add the cheese, first the Velveeta and then the cheddar. Stirring between each addition until melted. Finally, you want to sprinkle in some white pepper. Black pepper would be just fine here too, but the white pepper will blend in better.
Be careful not to let the soup boil at this point or the cheese will break down. Once everything is warm, melted, and creamy you’re ready to dig in.
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
- 4 carrots, 2 shredded and 2 finely diced
- 43.5 oz chicken broth (3 – 14.5 oz cans)
- 6 T butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ c flour
- 2 c fat free half and half
- 8 oz Velveeta
- 8 oz cheddar
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- In a large pot or dutch oven, bring the chicken broth to a simmer and add broccoli and carrots. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the broccoli and carrots simmer prepare the cream sauce. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes, adding the garlic during the last minute. Add the flour and cook for a minute. Gradually pour in the half and half, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens.
- Add cream mixture to the broccoli and carrots. Stir in the cheeses, one at a time allowing each to melt before adding the next. Last, sprinkle with black pepper. Be careful not to let the soup boil once you start adding the cheese or it will break down.