I love the cool breezes of Fall. The change in the weather seem to completely change my whole family’s food cravings. No longer do they want BBQ and IN. Their number one Fall food request is homemade soup. A warm bowl of soup and a few crackers or corn muffin seems to hit the spot. My crew loves anything from potato to chicken noodle to tomato and anything in between.
The other day my daughter, Becca, came to me begging for a trip to Panera Bread for a big bowl of B,roccoli Cheese Soup. Now, I was not prepared to take an hour trip into Augusta (that is our nearest Panera). However, I did have the components for a yummy homemade version. I make a pretty good version, which includes a couple of heads of roasted broccoli.
ROASTED BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
2 Heads of Broccoli (flowery part of head cut from stalk in medium pieces)
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 TB Olive Oil
16 Ounces Vegetable Broth
3 TB Flour
2 TB butter
2 Cups Half and Half
8 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese
8 Ounces American Cheese
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Place broccoli, olive oil, and garlic in bowl. Add salt and pepper and then stir until broccoli is coated. Put contents on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. (You want the broccoli to soften and a little char to the green heads.) Remove from oven and add 3/4 of broccoli and vegetable stock to blender and pulse until purred. Set aside.
In a large soup pot, combine butter and flour and cook on medium heat until golden brown. Add half and half and stir until combined. Add cheddar and American cheese slowly, allowing cheese to melt into sauce before adding more. Stir in purred broccoli and salt and pepper to taste. Rough chop the remaining roasted broccoli and add to soup. Turn heat to low and allow soup to simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
We love a big bowl of broccoli soup with toasty corn muffins. It is also pretty amazing with some crusty homemade croutons. I like to make the soup the night before we serve it. Just pull it out of the fridge and heat it up on the stove top. The flavors seem to become more intense while sitting in the refrigerator over night.