Today is National Cheese Lover’s Day. It is really more of a suggestion to have something with cheese or to eat a platter of cheese than it is a particular day. For particular days, you’ve got Cheese Doodle Day in March, or Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day in April or even Cheesecake Day in July. There’s even an entire month dedicated to Goat Cheese. Today is dedicated to the pleasure of cheese any way you care to slice it. Have some cheese with your lunch or nibble on some cheese as a snack.
With all that room for interpretation, I got to thinking about how great it would be to enjoy a nice, piping hot bowl of cheese soup with soft, tender vegetables. Be it served in a soup bowl or a hollowed out sourdough round, you can’t go wrong.
Cheese and Broccoli Soup
3 cups broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces (reserving 1/2 cup for garnish)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup fresh carrots, shredded
1 large onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (reserving 1/2 cup for garnish)
1 1/4 cup Asiago Cheese, freshly grated
Chop broccoli florets into bite-size pieces, reserving 1/2 cup of the florets for later.
Fill a large pot with the chicken broth, and 2 1/2 cups of the broccoli.
Peel and chop onions. Add to the pot. Grate carrots. Add to the pot. Press garlic into the pot. Bring mixture to a steady boil over medium-high heat, stirring every few minutes.
Cook for about 6 or 7 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
In a separate large pot, add the butter and flour. Whisking constantly over medium heat, create a roux.
Pour roux into the broth-vegetable mixture. Mix well.
Slowly add heavy cream in a stead stream. Reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer.
Add garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add both 1 1/4 cups of the cheeses and continue to mix until blended and the cheese has melted.
Place reserved broccoli into the microwave and steam until tender, about 2 minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with steamed broccoli and remaining cheddar cheese
Serve with warm bread.