Saturday, January 7, 2012

Roasted Broccoli Cheese Soup with Garlic Croutons

Early this week my friend, Kristina (aka Kiki Ganz), emailed me to ask if I could come up with a broccoli cheese soup that didn't use cream and was lighter in calories than your run-of-the-mill broccoli cheese!  So I accepted her challenge and am happy I did! This soup is really quite delicious. I love the flavor roasting the broccoli gives it. I will definitely be making it again.

And let me just say, I feel like I have posted SO many soup recipes lately I am seriously thinking about renaming my blog the Soup Ladle Diaries...okay, not really, but, I have been on a crazy soup kick - it's really cold outside, so cut me some slack! But, fear not all you non-soup-lovers...this will be the last soup recipe I post for at least two weeks...I promise!

Roasted broccoli:
3 heads of fresh broccoli (about 1 1/2 lbs), large stems removed
2 Tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar

2 Tbl butter
2 leeks, sliced (white parts only)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ground mustard
2 Tbl all purpose flour
4 c. chicken stock
1 c. water
3/4 c. 2% evaporated milk
1 c. shredded cheddar

To roast the broccoli:
Preheat oven to 425F
Line raw broccoli on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbl olive oil. Dust with 1/2 tsp sugar. Roast for 18 minutes. Remove from oven.

While the broccoli is roasting, go ahead and get started on the soup. Place butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once butter is melted add the sliced leeks, salt and pepper. Cook for three minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the ground mustard and flour. Cook for another two minutes, stirring all the while. Add one cup of the chicken broth and stir well until the flour covered leeks are well blended with the broth. Add the rest of the broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli to the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes until the broccoli is tender.

Remove the pot from heat. Ladle the soup into a blender - PLEASE make sure you remove the plastic insert from the center of the blender lid (this allows the heat to escape). Place a clean kitchen towel over the opening in the blender lid and puree until the soup is smooth. Return the smooth soup to the pot and add the evaporated milk. Bring to a slight simmer. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring well, until the cheese is melted. Serve soup with garlic croutons sprinkled on top. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Garlic Croutons
4 c. ciabatta or french bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400F
In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt, minced garlic and dried parsley over the bread cubes. Toss to coat. Spread out on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and stir bread. Return to oven and cook for another 5 minutes. That's it- croutons!

These really were the icing on the cake for the soup! I make these croutons all the time for salads, too! Please give them a try!

1 comment:

  1. Kel - It looks like you delivered! I cannot WAIT to try this TOMORROW! I am going out first thing to get groceries!

    Kiki Ganz
    P.S. I LOVE how you always clarify "white parts only" on leeks now. Ever since I sent you the picture of my BRIGHT GREEN Butternut Squash Soup! "Kel...I think I did something wrong..." :-)