Creamy Broccoli Soup and Grilled Cheese

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We are HUGE fans of broccoli in my house, so I always have it on hand. Broccoli is super good for you. It has been called "the miracle food" and packs a powerful punch of nutrient rich goodness. Here are some statistics about broccoli and why I think it should play an important role in everyone's diet:
  • it is high in folic acid which is especially important for women, and even more important for pregnant women
  • it contains important cancer fighters- such as sulphoraphane and indole-3-carbinole (I3C). I3C promotes good hormones while working against destructive ones.
  • it is high in potassium which fights high blood pressure
  • it is rich in calcium, which helps keep bones strong
  • it is fiber rich, which helps regulate the GI tract and aims to reduce cholesterol
  • It is high in beta carotene which is transformed into Vitamin A within the body, providing an effective antioxidant defense against free radicals (those nasty little things that weaken the defense of our cells).
And there are so many more benefits to broccoli! I love broccoli any which way, and in fact, we eat broccoli probably 5 out of 7 nights a week as a side with dinner.
Tonight I made a lovely creamy broccoli soup and served it alongside good old grilled cheese sandwiches.
This broccoli soup is hands down Daniel's FAVORITE! In fact, most of the time when I make it, he will eat more of it than David and I combined, and he's just a little guy! The best part about this soup though, is not only is it super healthy, it is SUPER quick and easy too! Plus, it makes your house smell heavenly while it is cooking! Here's the recipe (measurements are not exact):

Elizabeth's Creamy Broccoli Soup
2 large heads of broccoli cut into florets (you can also use frozen broccoli florets)
1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut up into florets
1 onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. curry powder (optional)
1 tbsp. herbes de provence or italian herbs
1 tsp. garlic powder or garlic salt or 4 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour (I use Wondra but all purpose will work just fine)
1 cup grated cheese (I use whatever I have on hand, tonight I used a mixture of parmiggiano reggiano, provolone, and asiago - but you can use whatever kind of cheese you like)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except the milk, flour and cheese in a large stock pot over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, turn heat down to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Using an immersion blender, puree about half of the soup (I like to leave a few chunky pieces but you can puree the whole soup if you want). If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender or food processor to puree the soup in batches. In a small bowl, whisk milk and flour together, making sure flour is well incorporated. Add to the soup and stir until thickened. Add cheese to the soup. That's it! Enjoy!

This is a very easy soup to change up. If you have milk allergies in your family, you can leave the cheese out and thicken the soup using chicken stock instead of milk. If you are vegetarian, you can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. If you want to make it wheat/gluten free, use 4 cups of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of heavy cream instead of the milk and flour.

I served this soup with grilled cheese sandwiches made from fresh bread that I baked this afternoon.

I hope you will try this recipe! As always, I love to hear your feedback! Thanks for reading!
Until next time, happy cooking!


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