Last Friday we woke up to a dusting or so of wet snow that had fallen during the night. We were up early to get G to the hospital for his surgery, and I remember doing a double take as I looked out the window, thinking, “snow?!" A strong cold front had made an unwelcome visit overnight and thankfully the snow was gone by mid-afternoon, and the weather in the 60s again over the weekend.
A spring snow reminded me however, that while the calendar says “Spring,” there will be enough cooler, rainy days to still have some of my favorite soups. After all, isn’t it April showers that bring May flowers? Save this recipe for a rainy April day, and you will be a happy camper
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1 medium onion, peeled, and quartered
1 celery stalk, cut into large chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups skim milk
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
4 cups steamed broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
In a food processor, pulse the onion, celery and carrots until the pieces are a small dice. Alternatively, you may hand dice the vegetables, but the food processor makes quick work of this job.
Heat the 2 teaspoons oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the vegetables and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are all very tender. Add the water, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, milk and paprika very well. A little bit at a time, add a ladle full of the simmering liquid, stirring well between each additional of liquid. After 3-4 ladle fulls, pour the milk mixture into the stock pot and stir very well, as to ensure the flour doesn’t clump (the process of adding a bit of the simmering liquid to the milk before adding it to the pot is called “tempering” and it ensures you will get a creamy soup, not a lumpy one).
Remove the pot from heat and add the cheese. Let sit for a minute or two, and then stir well to fully incorporate the cheese. Add the broccoli and stir well.
Makes 4 generous servings.