Ok, so I made this tonight to take for lunches for both me and Matt. It is supposed to be healthy, hence the small amount of oil and low-fat cheese. But as far as cheesy soups go, I made up my own recipe that turns out way better than this. I'm sure it's because of the full-fat cheese and regular butter, but dang it I can't handle seeing the cheese shreds in my soup!
Nevertheless, it tastes pretty good and will do for lunchs this week. In the future, I would make more of a roux before adding in the broth. And I would probably use regular cheese. Oh well. Live. Learn. Make my own recipe next time.
(Recipe and picture courtesy Food Network website)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 large carrot, diced (1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (1/2 cup)
1 large potato, peeled and diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth (two 14-ounce cans)
8 ounces broccoli crowns (see Ingredient note), cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated (3 cups)
1 cup grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
Add broth and broccoli stems; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more. Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a bowl and mash; return to the pan.
Stir in Cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated through. Season with salt.
Ingredient note: Most supermarkets sell broccoli crowns, which are the tops of the bunches, with the stalks cut off. Although crowns are more expensive than entire bunches, they are convenient and there is considerably less waste.