Broccoli Cheese Soup with Croutons

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This Broccoli and Cheese Soup with Croutons is absolutely divine. I have to admit: I am not a soup person. My husband is. That’s where we differ. This is actually the first (yes, she said that blushingly) time I have made him soup…  As a soup person he confirms that this is, indeed, a delicious soup. As a non-soup person, I confirm: this Broccoli and Cheese soup with Croutons is a hit. The original recipe called for frozen broccoli. I don’t use frozen vegetables.  I prefer fresh. I had fresh. I made it fresh. It was a keeper.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Look at that!  “Fresh over Frozen”, is what I say.

Broccoli Cheese Soup with Croutons

Ingredients:

  •  3 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock, or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 12-16 oz. fresh broccoli, washed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar, plus a good handful if needed
  • Croutons, for garnish, recipe follows.

Directions:

  • In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter of medium-high heat.
  • Add the celery, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds.
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender.  (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)
  • Add the cream and bring to a bare simmer to heat through.
  • Add the 1 1/4 cup of cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted.
  • Add up to a (good) handful of extra cheese, if desired.  (I desired it.)
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.
  • Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls.  Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Croutons

  • 1 cup 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubed French bread
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Creole seasoning, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the bread in a medium bowl and toss with oil and Creole Seasoning.  Spread evenly on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring twice, until golden brown on top, about 6 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

Yield: 1 cup

Creole Seasoning

  • 2 1/2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup (yes, it’s more than you need, but it’s delicious and it will make you want to make croutons for every meal hereafter.  They’re great on a salad.  Trust me, I tried.)

Serves: 4

Enjoy!

(Recipe by: Emeril Lagasse, adapted by Marieke, aka HRH Mommy.)
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