This easy broccoli soup takes very little time to make, and it makes an excellent lunch soup to serve with half a sandwich or a salad. Feel free to use either fresh or frozen broccoli in this dish.
Use a mixture of broccoli and cauliflower in the soup if you'd like, or add some chopped fresh spinach to the broccoli. To make a vegetarian soup, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. For a richer soup, replace half of the milk with light cream or half-and-half.
Shredded cheddar cheese serves as a garnish for the soup, but feel free to try other garnishes. Diced or crumbled cooked bacon is a good option, or swirl a bit of sour cream or roasted red pepper puree into each bowl of soup just before serving. Seasoned croutons make a tasty, crunchy garnish as well.
- 3 cups chicken broth (preferably low sodium or unsalted)
- 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen broccoli (or about 1 pound of fresh broccoli florets)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 bay leaves (dried)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (2 cups, sharp, divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Dash pepper (or to taste)
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken broth, broccoli, chopped onion, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer the mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.
- In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir to blend it into the melted butter. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk and continue cooking until thickened, stirring constantly.
- Using a blender, process the cooked broccoli mixture in 2 or 3 batches. Add the pureed broccoli mixture to the thickened milk mixture. Add about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese; put the rest of the cheese in a small bowl and set aside. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper, as needed.
- Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the reserved shredded cheese.
- Serve the creamy soup with crackers, baked French bread croutons (crostini).
How to Safely Puree Soup in a Blender
Processing hot liquids in the blender in small batches is important. The steam expands, and if too full, can blow the lid right off the blender. To avoid a mess and possible burns, never fill the blender more than half full; one-third is ideal. When you place the lid on the blender, make sure to loosen the center cup. Place a folded kitchen towel over the lid and hold it down firmly with one hand while you use the other hand to control the speed or pulse function.