Last night I made broccoli cheddar soup courtesy of the Food Network. I basically followed their recipe, but my modifications are listed here. Since I made modifications that may have significantly changed the flavor, I cannot accurately judge the quality of the Food Network recipe. Mine came out fine, but it wasn’t really really delicious.
1 bag frozen broccoli*
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium red-skinned potato, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth^
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg**
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar^^
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
One 12-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced***
Separate the stems and the florets from the broccoli. Trim and discard the bottom of the broccoli stems and peel the tough outer layers. Finely chop the stems and coarsely chop the florets and set aside separately.
Mist a large pot with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the broccoli stems, onions and potatoes and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the reserved florets and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and continue to steam until the florets are bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the entire contents of the pot with the florets to the soup along with the nutmeg. Stir to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the Cheddar, Worcestershire and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the scallions.
Cook’s Note: Leftover soup should be reheated in the microwave rather than the stove top, where the cheese will “break” or separate from the broth.
*Original recipe used one bunch fresh broccoli. The references to the fresh broccoli in the directions have been struck out.
^I didn’t have enough broth so I used 2 cups of chicken broth, and one cup of chicken stock.
**I did not like this much nutmeg. I recommend reducing to 1/8 t.
^^Add more cheddar! 1 cup was not cheesy enough.
***Don’t skip this – I tasted before and after adding, and they made a huge difference.