As K reminded us a while ago, we are finally entering soup season! Happy happy happy!! K and I are #1 fans of thick socks, a comfy old chair, a long book, and a warm, comforting bowl of soup. October, will you please cool down asap? What’s with this starting out at 100 degrees?? We are going to pretend together that it is slightly nippy outside and the only way to warm up is to eat some of this deeelicious soup.
Have you guys ever tried the Broccoli Cheese soup from Subway? Oh dear, it is just divine. No matter which clinic I work at, there is always a Subway within 5 minutes, so if I don’t pack a lunch that’s usually my default lunch choice. I discovered The Soup one day when my usual sandwich or salad just didn’t sound good. But there I was in line, the nice sandwich lady looking at me with expectant eyes, wondering which bread I was going to choose… I almost gave up my spot in line because I couldn’t think of anything to order but THEN… my eyes lit on the small corner of the menu where a lonely bowl of soup was pictured. And so I blurted out, “Broccoli Cheese please!” and that was the beginning of what would be many quarts of this soup that I devoured.
Lately though, I’ve been trying to pack my own lunch as often as possible to cut down on my spending. But my homemade sandwiches were pretty lonely without their soup companion. That’s when I decided I would MAKE the first batch of soup (in my life, sadly) and it would be in honor of my broccoli cheese addiction!
One thing I looked for when browsing recipes was that it be healthy. I found this one from Cooking Light, and after a few alterations and add-ins, I think I have mastered Broccoli Cheese Soup- a soup that can be luxuriously enjoyed while seated in a plush chair with your favorite book in hand. Or while sitting at the dinner table with your dear husband- who wasn’t sure about homemade soup until he took a bite. (Its embarrassing, I’ve relied heavily on canned soups for the past two years- NO MORE!!) Especially when this homemade soup takes only 30 minutes from start to finish.
One thing I must explain after the above picture. You see that yellow-ish chunk at the end of the spoon there? I don’t know how you guys feel about processed cheese, but in my family… well, there are some pretty strong feelings. My grandpa loves Velveeta. He has tried for years to convince the rest of us how wonderful it is, but we stuck to our Tillamook like white on rice. Processed cheese?? That’s so gross… I can’t believe he’s trying to convince us to EAT that… were the thoughts running through our minds. My mom warned us of the consequences if she ever saw us with Velveeta in our fridges.
Well, mom, I must turn myself in. I used Velveeta Light for this recipe because it had 1/3 less fat than regular (sigh…real) cheese, and it melts so much better and creamier for soups than hard cheddar would. You’ll just have to trust me on this one, and trust grandpa- who, turns out, knew better than we did for all these years. I can hear it from here, Grandpa! “I told you so!!”
Well here’s to fall, ladies and gentlemen!
Healthier Broccoli Cheese Soup adapted lightly from CookingLight
serves 6, about 1 1/3 cups per serving at 200 cal per serving
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 heads fresh broccoli, cut into florets (or 1 (16 oz) pkg frozen broccoli florets)
2/3 cup grated carrot
2 1/2 cups 1% milk
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)
Heat a large nonstick saucepa coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth, broccoli, and carrots. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat to medium ; cook 10 minutes.
Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup into pan.