I have a long standing one-way beef with NYTimes cooking. Many people find it a great source for recipes, but I can’t get over the fact that many of their recipes just feel lazy. I find that they often rely on cream, butter and parmesan to make tasty meals. And so, typically, I don’t like to cook with a ton of butter or cream. I want to try and challenge myself to not fall into the easy trap of making delicious food by adding more and more salt and fat. However, there are always exceptions to this, some foods just need that extra salt and fat, and today is one of those recipes.
With winter in full swing, I wanted to work on a new soup. Problem being, I have not been a big soup person the majority of my life. So while reflecting on soups which left an imprint on me I was drawing a blank. But, a soup which left a mark not on me but on my sister, is a broccoli cheddar soup from Panera. Back in the simple days of high-school she used to rave about it and the bread bowl. So that was my jumping point, a creamy broccoli soup that would make my sister proud.
While my sis hasn’t tried it yet, something which I hope to rectify soon, I think she would find it damn delicious. As with most of the recipes on this blog, the key to this recipe is… lots of vegetables! It is jammed packed with veggies and at the end about a third of the soup is blended to add to the texture. The soup is thickened with a roux, a simple combination of butter and flour heated and stirred. This recipe comes together relatively quickly for soup and as always makes lots of leftovers. I hope you enjoy and stay warm!
Active time: 25 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 large bunches broccoli*
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 4 medium sized yellow onions, diced (roughly 550g chopped)
- 3 large carrots, diced (roughly 225g chopped)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 200g shredded aged cheddar
- Coconut Bacon*, to top
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- First, make the roux. Heat a small non-stick pan on medium heat. Once hot add in the butter and flour and cook for 4-5 minutes, agitating with a rubber spatula constantly, until beginning to brown a bit. The butter should foam a bit during the cooking process. Set aside for later.
- Cut the bunches of broccoli into small florets and set aside. With 3 or 4 of the stems, peel them and then grate them and place with the florets
- Heat a large dutch oven on medium heat. Add in the neutral oil and sauté the broccoli, onion, carrots, peas and corn with a ½ tsp of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent.
- Pour the vegetable broth over the vegetables and add in the bay leaves, lots of freshly cracked black pepper and another ½ tsp of salt. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil and then return the heat to medium low. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes and try to spear a broccoli floret to ensure it is cooked thoroughly. Once tender, it is done. Fish out the bay leaves with a slotted spoon.
- While the soup simmers, prepare the blender. Add the heavy cream, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce. Once the soup is done simmering, ladle in about a third of the soup and carefully blend (it’s hot!) until smooth. Return the blended soup to the dutch oven.
- Add the cheddar cheese and the roux into the soup. Stir until well combined. Taste for salt levels and adjust accordingly. Serve while hot with some homemade coconut bacon if it was prepared! Enjoy!
- Frozen broccoli can be substituted for two fresh bunches of broccoli, just ensure to thaw properly as frozen vegetables can retain more water leading to a soggy soup.
- Coconut bacon is a different recipe to be prepared in advance. It is very quick and can be done right before the soup!