I've posted a broccoli cheddar soup recipe before, but recently decided to tweak it a little. It had a can of cheddar cheese soup as one of the ingredients, but I'm trying to eliminate processed foods from my cooking. So I started using a homemade roux instead. A roux is just a mixture of butter, flour and liquid that is used to thicken soups and stews.
Now my family prefers this version. And I can't say that I blame it. It's thick, creamy and delicious. My kids have even declared it "better than Panera
Here's what you need
1 TBSP butter
1 small onion, diced
2 teas minced garlic
4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen broccoli
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 teas salt
1 teas pepper
1/4 teas nutmeg
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I use sharp white and sharp yellow)
For the roux:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
In a large pot, melt the 1 TBSP butter. Add the diced onions and cook until softened. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the broth and water, then bring to a boil. Carefully add the broccoli, carrots, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes until the veggies are soft.
When the broccoli and carrots have cooked, remove from the heat. With an immersion blender, blend until about half the soup is pureed. You want to leave some of the veggies chunky. If you don't have an immersion blend, pour about half the soup into a regular blender, making sure you leave some room for the liquid to expand. Blend until you reach the desired smoothness and return to the pot.
Return the soup mixture to the heat and allow to reach a simmer. Now it's time to make the roux.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour, making sure there are no lumps. Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook and stir until the mixture is thick. Add to the soup mixture, stirring well. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Now add the cheese and stir until it's all melted.