Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Soup and Bread, and not from Panera for once

**UPDATE** I've moved to
You can find this post and more here

With about 12 inches of snow in driveway, all I wanted to do with cuddle up in my fleece pajamas and eat some warm comfort food. I'm usually not much of a soup person, unless it is made by someone named Panera and comes in a bread bowl. However, I've made this recipe for Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup once before.
It was so good that I've had a taste for it ever since.

I changed it slightly for our family's taste...

1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups fat free chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 cup milk
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
5 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces (about 2 heads fresh or 1 bag frozen)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 slices American cheese
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

-Chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and set aside. I love my Chopper. It saves so much time!

-In a large soup pot, melt the butter.  Add the vegetables you just chopped and saut√© on low heat until they're soft (5 minutes-ish). Meanwhile, I suggest getting the potatoes ready. Again, the chopper saves so much time. If I didn't have one, I would definitely be less inclined to cook. I'm that lazy.

-Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.

-Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and cook on high heat until it comes to a boil, then cover and cook on low until the potatoes are soft (10 minutes-ish). Meanwhile, get your broccoli ready.

-Once the potatoes are soft, add the broccoli and parmesan cheese.

-Stir and then cook uncovered until the broccoli is cooked. I used frozen broccoli and I chopped it when it was partially thawed. If using fresh broccoli, this step will take closer to 5 minutes. If partially frozen, add a couple minutes. 

-Add the cheddar and American cheese. Stir well and remove from heat.

-The original instructions say to use an immersion blender. Instead, I used my handy dandy Baby Bullet (yes, there are still uses for it once you're done with the baby-food-making stage!!). Scoop a cup or 2 of the potatoes and broccoli into the blender/processor and blend it up a little bit. Then scoop it back into the soup and stir. This thickens up the soup. Don't skip this step because it really does help. 

That's it! It kind of seems like a lot of work but it's so good and even my 18 month old gobbled it up in between "mmm's".

As I was cooking up this soup, I kept thinking about Panera soup and their bread and how great would it be to have a thick delicious bread to dip in my soup. (We're dippers, here.)

So I made some! Honey Whole Wheat Bread - fairly simple and very delicious (especially to make avocado grilled cheese sandwiches with).
Honey Whole Wheat Bread

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