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Cold is not my season

February 3, 2011

Tuesday and Wednesday were truly days for hunkering down and staying inside.  In metro-Chicago we ended up with  20+ inches of snow, wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and thundersnow

My street didn’t see a plow until 8:00 last night, 29 hours after the snow started and about 8 hours after the snow stopped.  None of that mattered to me though as I wouldn’t have gone anywhere even if the street had been plowed.  Cold is not my season.

I did take the snow and wind and cold as a reason to pull out a recipe that I’ve made periodically since I first saw it in Cooking Light in January, 2002.  I’ve made a couple of adaptations to the recipe to suit my tastes.  One of the best things about this recipe is that from start to finish it takes under 45 minutes.  Serve it with some fresh bread or, as my husband does, sprinkled with croutons and……’s a meal.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
adapted from Cooking Light

1 tbsp butter
1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
16 oz broccoli florets
2-1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
10 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar (optional)

In a medium pot, melt butter.  Add onion and garlic, saute over medium heat for 3 minutes or until tender.  Add broth and broccoli florets.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, combine milk and flour blending well until the flour is fully incorporated.  (I like to combine the milk and flour in a jar with a tight-fitting lid so I can shake to combine, but feel free to blend well with a fork or wisk.)  Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.  Stir in pepper.  Remove from heat and add the cubed Velveeta, stirring until cheese melts.

Place about 1/3 of soup into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Return blended soup to pot.  Optionally, if you have an immersion blender, blend the soup in the pot, making sure to leave some of the broccoli in larger pieces.

Portion into serving bowls, top with a little shredded cheddar and/or croutons.

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