Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Was it just my family, or do people from Florida not eat a lot of soup?  We rarely had soup growing up.  I'm having a hard time trying to remember a time when my mom made soup.  It was either out of a can, the tomato variety, to go with our grilled cheese sandwiches or it was at Olive Garden with salad and breadsticks.

Looks pretty good!  If you click on the link and see their picture, it's pretty close!

I attempted, and succeeded, to make soup!  I've made an easy soup before - beans, noodles, canned stuff - but nothing as complicated as this soup.

Again, I found it in my favorite Food Network Magazine, the cover recipe.  There are several things I'd like to contest in the description of this recipe:

  • easy - not so much
  • total time 35 min - more like 90 min
  • Yields 4 servings - close to 6
But I digress, let's start from the beginning.  I'll start by saying it turned out to be delicious and I even had leftovers for lunch today.  It was just a lot more work than I thought.  Maybe it's because I've never made soup before, I blame you, Mom.  

I love cheese so I couldn't help but be attracted to the soup just by the picture.  And with the description above, I was sold.  It would be easy and take less than an hour!

The first step is to peel and chop some potatoes to cook in the chicken stock, water and milk.  That alone took me 10 minutes.  Already I knew I was in for a long time in the kitchen.  While those are cooking until softened, I steamed the broccoli in the microwave.  

Here is where it gets tricky, and what I didn't read when I first read through the recipe.  Once the potatoes are softened, you have to PUREE the soup.  I've never pureed a thing in my life.  Thank goodness I now have access to Stephen's cooking equipment or I would have been in big doo doo.  Here is a note for all of you who are new to soup cooking and pureeing.  READ THE LABELS ON THE FOOD PROCESSOR.  I didn't.  I missed the "no liquid past this line" label.  Off I go, pouring 6 cups of liquid and 2 lbs of potatoes into the processor.  Then there was soup everywhere.  Yeah, it was a mess.  Would have made for good television.  

No worries though, I got it worked out.  After trying to figure out how I was going to puree the soup that didn't fit into the container (if you have this problem - puree the potatoes with as much liquid as possible then put back in large pot and simmer to combine) I worked it all out and was on to the next step.  

The rest went pretty smoothly.  Our friends at the Food Network called for only 1 1/3 cups of cheese.  That's not nearly enough, at least for our household.  I added 2 1/3 cups to the soup (which is probably why I had 6 servings).  

Please take note of the croutons - homemade croutons!  We had a pretty large loaf of french bread that I never served with our chili that was pretty stale.  Croutons are toasted, stale bread.  I cut up some of the loaf, threw it in the oven for 10 min on a baking sheet.  Boom!  Croutons. 

I highly recommend making the soup. Maybe half the recipe?  It was perfect for a chilly night.  (If you read the reviews on the website they aren't too positive.  They all say the soup is bland and not very cheesy.  I guess they stuck too closely to the recipe and didn't add an extra cup+ of cheese!  I will add more broccoli next time, but it was delicious.)

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