Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lightened-Up Broccoli-Cheese Soup

Oh The Pioneer Woman. Her recipes kill me. One because they are so tasty, and another because they are not always the lightest. Most of the time, I just go all out for it and make it. But I've been really trying to eat healthier and not indulge too much lately (or so I say until you see one of my next posts...).

Well, I decided that I wanted some warm and creamy soup, but I wanted to lighten it up a bit. So that I did. And guess what? It tasted great! I was so proud of myself. Not to mention I decided that I wanted to make it in a bread bowl. Not just any bread bowl, but pretzel rolls from Trader Joe's. Yummy! John loved it, and we enjoyed our leftovers (eating some now!).

So go ahead and indulge a bit. I won't tell anyone. ;)

Lightened-Up Broccoli-Cheese Soup
Recipe by Call Me Mrs. Rapp; Adapated from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 4-6, depending on portions
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*1/2 onion, diced
*2 tbsp. butter
*2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. flour 
*2 cups milk (I used 2%)
*1 cup half-and-half 
*2 heads broccoli, cut into florets 
*1 pinch nutmeg 
*1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar & white cheddar) 
*small dash of salt (more if needed) 
*splash of chicken broth, if needed for thinning


*Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes.

*Sprinkle flour on top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk and half-and-half.

*Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper.

*Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.

*Stir in cheese and allow to melt.

*Taste seasonings and adjust if needed.

Then either serve as is, or mash it with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender in two batches and puree completely. (If you puree it in a blender, return it to the heat and allow to heat up. Splash in chicken broth if needed for thinning).

If you serve it in a bread bowl or pretzel roll, just scoop out the insides (not too much or it will leak!) and pour! You can also throw it in the oven under the broiler to make it a little bit firmer and toasted. I just left it as is. 
Prep time: diced onion, broccoli, and cheddar

onion, butter and flour

Plus milk, half and half, broccoli and spices...note how much broccoli is actually in there

After cooking for about 20 minutes it's time for cheese! (and broccoli cooked down!)

Trader Joe's pretzel roll

soup in the pretzel roll!

sooo yummy! take that Panera!


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