When I think of broccoli soup, I picture little pieces of broccoli floating in a creamy white broth that is usually cheesy. There are a few flecks of shredded carrot and maybe a few little pieces of diced onion. It’s always good, they’re all pretty much alike. When I see the copycat recipes for Panera or other restaurants I wonder just how different they really are. I wanted a new broccoli soup. With a difference.
I started with half of a large onion, diced, and sautéed it in a drizzle of oil in a small soup pot. When it was nice and browned (caramelized, not burnt!) I added 4 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of flour. I stirred them for several minutes to make sure my roux was nicely cooked.
I added 4 cups of vegetable broth, stirring until it was blended and starting to thicken.
I’d shredded about 1/2 cup of carrot and roughly chopped about 5 cups of broccoli. This is a great time to use all of the stems, chopped smaller so they cook at the same time the broccoli flowers do.
I added the carrots to my soup pot then the broccoli. Such pretty contrasts!
There were quite a lot of vegetables in my pot now and I decided I’d need more broth. I only had beef broth readily available. I didn’t want to wait for any chicken or veg broth to thaw so I added the 4 cups of beef broth to my soup pot. Who said we can only use chicken or veg broth in broccoli soup? We’d see! I added a teaspoon of diced garlic and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes.
The broccoli stem pieces were fork tender at 30 minutes. I added 2 cups of milk, 16 ounces of a sharp cheddar Velveeta along with 1 3/4 cups of a shredded sharp white cheddar. I stirred the soup until the cheese chunks were melted.
The soup wasn’t as thick as I would have liked it to be so I made a slurry of 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. I stirred it into the soup until it began to thicken. I taste tested for salt and pepper and set the pot off the burner for now.
I wanted rice in my soup so I cooked 1 1/2 cups of regular white rice according to the directions. When it was plumped and ready I added it to my soup pot. I stirred and taste tested again, adding a touch more salt. My soup was ready!
The soup was wonderful! I liked the depth the beef broth added to the soup, along with the cheeses. Very much a broccoli soup, but with new flavors added. It was creamy and delicious! I’d asked my P.S. (Princely Spouse) to bring home some bread to serve with our soup. He brought home one of his favorites, a can of Grands biscuits. The were even better dunked in our soup.
I had a point in making the rice separately and adding it to the soup at the end. I wanted to hopefully avoid the rice soaking up all of the liquid and making my soup more of a stew. The leftovers sort of did that anyway, but not in a big way. It was still more of a soup than a stew when we ate it the next day. And the day after that. I liked this soup so much I ate it everyday and was disappointed when it was gone. Time to make more!
Broccoli Soup with a Difference
1/2 cup onion; diced
drizzle of oil
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
5 cups broccoli; roughly chopped, including stems
1/2 cup carrot; shredded
4 cups vegetable broth (or 8 cups broth of choice)
4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups milk
16 ounces Sharp Cheddar Velveeta cheese; diced into cubes
1 3/4 cups sharp cheddar (I used a white cheddar I had on hand)
3 tablespoons cornstarch stirred into 1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups dry rice cooked according to package directions
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onion in a drizzle of oil in a small soup pot until browned. Add the butter and when melted stir in the flour and cook for several minutes.
Slowly add 4 cups of vegetable broth, stirring until it begins to thicken. Add the broccoli, carrots and garlic and stir well. Stir in the 4 cups of beef broth. Let simmer on medium heat for 20-30 minutes until the broccoli stem pieces are fork tender.
Cook rice according to package directions.
Stir in milk and cheeses into soup, stirring often until cheeses are melted. Taste test for salt and pepper.
Make a slurry of the cornstarch and water and stir into soup. Stir until soup is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Stir rice into soup, taste test for seasonings one last time and serve!