Broccoli + Cheese = Love, right?

flickr, La Grande Farmers' Market

flickr credit, La Grande Farmers’ Market

Bunky loves broccoli. It’s true! Yes, I know I said she’s picky. She is. Trust me. The caveat is that it has to be dipped in cheese sauce. Preferably a cheese sauce in a vivid orange color. (I did mention in this post that she’s a cheese-etarian.)

Fair enough. So the equation is this:

Broccoli + cheese = love

If you follow logic (which I don’t, usually) it would seem like a no-brainer that Bunky might also like a creamy, cheesy, broccoli soup. To give her some credit, she didn’t shoot me down right away. In fact, she appeared open to the idea. It was just when she tasted the soup that it went downhill. Blecchh, was her response to what I know to be a DELICIOUS soup. I know this for a fact since I was the only one who ate it.

No matter. If you follow the above equation then YOU will love this soup, I know it. Unless you’re a picky-as-hell four-year-old whose food options are dwindling by the day (the hour!) you should give this recipe a shot.

I was inspired by this beautiful dairy free cream of broccoli soup from Happy Little Feet made with coconut milk and avocado – yum! But since my girl doesn’t like the taste of coconut milk, I knew I’d have to modify it. Also, I needed cheese. So I found this recipe (the author also includes an intriguing breakdown of a popular cafe’s version, showing just how unhealthy it is versus homemade) and melded the two in my brain (and in the pot) to create what you see below.

soup bowl

It’s a mild soup, meaning no onion or major spice action, but it’s smooth, creamy and delicious. The broccoli and cheese give it plenty of flavor and love (see equation above).

*Since I had a feeling I might be the only one eating this soup (sigh), I halved the original recipe from 8 cups of broccoli down to 4. Please feel free to double everything for a bigger batch of soup.

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 big clove garlic, smashed
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces (I defrosted a bag of frozen florets)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper (if you have it, if not no worries)
  • 1+3/4 cups of chicken (or veggie) broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1+1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 ripe avocado*

Directions:

1. Add the butter to a large stock pot over medium high heat until melted. Saute celery about 5 minutes. Add garlic for about 2 minutes.

The players, ready to go.

The players, ready to go. Um, except for the avocado which I forgot to add.

2. Then add broccoli and stir to coat well with butter. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, pepper and white pepper. Add broth. Turn up the heat, bring to a low boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook covered (with lid on) until broccoli pieces are soft, about 15 minutes.

*If you feel like adding the avocado, do it right before you use the immersion blender. I totally forgot so I can’t really say if it’s worth remembering, but I liked the idea of adding a shot of protein and creaminess.

So pretty and green.

Keep stirring because nothing smells (or tastes) worse than burned broccoli.

3. Remove from heat. With an immersion/stick blender, puree soup to desired consistency, or process in a regular blender, in batches, taking care not to burn yourself. Return to pot, off heat, stir in cream, dijon, nutmeg and cheese. Stir to combine and melt cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings. If soup needs to be reheated, reheat slowly and do not allow it to come to a boil. Serve immediately.

Looks good to me. Just don't ask my kid to eat it.

Looks good to me. Just don’t ask my kid to eat it.

It’s kind of a miracle that I made this soup at all, considering I made it AFTER nap time. This is Little Guy “keeping busy” while I attempt to not burn the broccoli.

leo making messAnd trying to crawl up my leg. Not helpful. But kind of cute.

leo attack

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian MammaEat.Live.Make, and Gluten Freed R.D., and One Creative Mommy’s Gluten Free Monday link up. Click the links to find more great GF recipes.

gffridays featured

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9 thoughts on “Broccoli + Cheese = Love, right?

  1. I think “this + my kids = love”!! I can’t want to make this! YUM!! 🙂
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂
    I hope to see you again this week!

    Stop by this week to see if you were the winner of the Sugar and Spice Prize pack! We had a super great variety of recipes and entries this week!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  2. We found, when we made a similar soup, that the totally-puréed consistency sort of gagged us. The flavor was fine, though, so the soup worked much better for us if we left it a little chunky. Maybe that would work for your kiddo?

  3. Pingback: Almost forgot…Meatless Monday – Danas Broccoli and Cheese Soup « Angies Grapevine

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