Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stockup Sunday - Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Ok, please trust me and read on even though the word "broccoli" is in the post title.  My kids - all of them - LOVE this broccoli soup and so do I. 

Here's how I got started making it.  One fall a couple of years ago, we were visiting my cousin who has an organic vegetable farm.  The kids and I were out walking in the field, which was full of broccoli plants about to be disked under.  The boys thought it was so much fun picking broccoli side shoots that we ended up going home with bags of broccoli. While trying to figure out what to do with all this broccoli, I found a broccoli and cheese soup recipe on the Food Network web site.  I made it, and it was delicious, but I was scratching my head trying to figure out how to get the kids to eat it.  They were watching a movie in their room, when I said, "Boys, I made this really yummy creamy soup with CHEESE in it.  It's really CHEESY and it's SO GOOD."  I went on and on about the cheese, thinking they would go for that, but they didn't bat an eyelash.  Finally on my way out of their room, I mumbled something about broccoli.  They both jumped up and shouted, "Broccoli!?I?" {well why didn't you say so mom?} and ran into the kitchen to try it.  They each ate a whole bowl full and asked for more.  It was the weirdest thing I have ever experienced.

The recipe is very small, so I almost always double it.  I follow the recipe pretty closely with only a few small adjustments  First, I don't bother with the croutons shown in the original recipe.  Second, I just use salted butter and omit the salt.  Finally, if I make it in the summer, I used fresh broccoli and fresh thyme, but if I make it in the winter, I use frozen broccoli and dried thyme (reduce the amount when using dried).  Believe it or not, the fresh thyme makes a huge difference in flavor, but it's just too expensive at $2.99 a package to buy fresh in the winter.  In the summer, I have it in the garden.  The amount of cream (half and half works fine) and cheese can easily be reduced without ruining the soup.  You can blend the soup very smooth if your kids have food texture issues. 
The other interesting thing that I have discovered is that the kids actually like the soup better without the cream and cheese, so when I make it, they all eat a bowl before I stir in these last ingredients.  Dad doesn't eat it without offsetting all the broccoli with a little cream and cheese, so we add these before he eats any.

1 comment:

  1. Glad we could help get the kids eating broccoli! Aubrey likes it too so we should try this soup. We usually eat the broccoli cheese steamers in the winter since we don't have fresh either, but I should start freezing some since she likes it so much! Thanks for sharing.