At long last, we have cold weather here in the valley. I’ve actually needed to break out the sweaters and keep stockings on my feet rather than walk about barefooted. Oh sure, the nights have been a bit chilly, but the days have been down right warm. Tee-shirt weather warm.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the sunshine. It’s just that it didn’t feel much like Thanksgiving. As anxious as I was to put up the Christmas Tree, it didn’t feel right to decorate a tree wearing a tee-shirt instead on an ugly sweater. Guess I should be glad that Thanksgiving was as late in the year as possible. By Thanksgiving, the weather had turned. Rain, snow, cold – just as it should be.
In our house, cold weather means soup weather. This soup is more creamy than cheesy. And oh so satisfying!
Broccoli-Carrot Cheese Soup
1/2 medium Onion
3 medium Carrot
8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup Flour
2 cups Half-and-Half cream
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 lb fresh Broccoli Florets
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg or to taste
Cut onion in half root to tip. Wrap and set aside half of the onion for another use, peel remaining half. Dice peeled onion and set aside.
Peel and dice carrot into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
Grate the Cheddar Cheese from a block. Freshly grated cheese will blend and melt better. Cover shredded cheese and set aside until ready to use.
Sauté chopped onion in olive oil until tender, about 2 or 3 minutes Set aside.
In a stock pot melt butter. As soon as the butter begins to foam, whisk in the flour and continue to cook over medium heat for 4 minutes to create a golden roux.
Stir constantly, add the half-and-half in a steady stream until well blended. Add the chicken stock. Lower heat and simmer for the cream base for 20 minutes.
While the base simmers, trim the broccoli and cut into floret pieces.
Add the broccoli, carrots and onions to the cream base. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese until melted. Sprinkle with a little nutmeg.
Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve with some warm bread.