So it’s finally March. For the first time I can remember, I’m actually not excited for spring. At 6 months postpartum, I’m just not ready to give up my uniform of leggings and large, baggy sweaters. SO when I saw that it was supposed to be chilly this week, I actually got excited!
I’ve been on a soup/purée kick recently-I read the book French Kids Eat Everything and got some great soup/recipe ideas on how to start feeding kids more veggies and being more healthy and well rounded food-wise. So when I looked in the fridge and realized I had some broccoli that we hadn’t used, and some cheese, I figured I could try my hand at making some broccoli cheddar soup. Broccoli cheddar had been my go-to soup at Au Bon Pain in college, and I was feeling confident in my new kitchen skills-how hard could it be? (Actually, not that hard! Read on for what I did!)
First, I did a quick google for recipes to see what was out there. I found a couple recipes, Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup, Best Cream of Broccoli Soup Recipe, and skimmed them for ideas. At first, I intended to follow one of those, but I didn’t have all the ingredients, and I didn’t feel like going shopping and making it a big thing, I just wanted to use what I had.
3 small potatoes
1 12 oz bag of cheddar cheese
3 heads of broccoli
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk (I had almost two cups)
2 large spoonfuls of butter (we didn’t have sticks of butter, so I estimated)
salt and pepper
First, I the peeled the potatoes, then I chopped the potatoes and broccoli and steamed them until they were soft.
I chopped up my onion and put it in a small saucepan with a spoonful of butter and sautéed it until it was soft, but not brown. Then I put the potatoes, onion, and broccoli in a blender, poured in some of the water that I had used to steam them, and blended until I had a fairly smooth mixture.
I was feeling fairly confident at this point. Then, I used a large pot (I just cleaned out the one that I used for steaming) and poured in three cups of chicken broth, and two cups of milk. I only had reduced fat milk, so that’s what I used. I added another generous spoonful of butter (probably about two tablespoons?) and simmered until the butter was melted and I had small bubbles coming up from the pot.
Next, I poured the broccoli/onion/potato blended mixture into the pot. This was the moment where I started to get a little bit scared.
It looked like a buttery liquid, with a blob of green goop. I was super nervous that maaaaaaybe this wasn’t the best idea after all. So I literally turned away from it to quickly clean some of the dirty dishes, and I tried to think of how to explain to my husband that I wasted so many ingredients, and we’d have nothing for dinner. But, when I turned around, it had all cooked and blended together! It looked like real soup! I added some salt and pepper, then figured I’d go all in and do a full 12 oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese. Once it all melted I served it up-delicious! I was actually a bit surprised that I managed to pull it off. It’s certainly not healthy, but I still feel like it’s better than getting it premade from a store.
Use what you have! I had a surplus of potatoes, so I used them. You could probably substitute potatoes for cauliflower or sprinkle in some flour to thicken it up. Have some other veggies you need to use up? Throw them in!
Don’t be scared to not get it right. I was nervous to be branching out more or less and not following an actual recipe to a T. Maybe you like chunks of broccoli, maybe you like a different kind of cheese, alter it!
You can always add more. I started off but just putting in a handful of cheese but then decided to go all in and add the bag (Hey, it’s comfort food!). I didn’t use that much salt and pepper because I figured we could always add more as we ate it, which is what we did. Don’t hesitate to add different ingredients, but you can’t always take stuff away, you can always add more.
How are you feeling about entering spring? What are your go-to comfort foods? Let me know what you think!