Just after New Year's, my husband, kids, and I piled into the car for a trip to the Midwest to celebrate a late Christmas with my in-laws. Since we were arriving late in the evening, my mother-in-law planned a simple supper of soup and warm bread, which was perfect on a cold evening! I asked her for the recipe, and a few weeks ago, when my own mama was visiting, I planned a similar meal. Mom and I made a few changes to the original recipe, added a crisp green salad, and served Chocolate Fondue for dessert. It was, once again, a "simple" meal, but one that warmed a body right up on a cold winter night! My kids loved the soup, opting to sip it from a cup "like a broccoli smoothy, Mommy!" and dip the bread as well.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups frozen broccoli florets, roughly chopped
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, plus more or less to taste
salt & pepper to taste
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until melted. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant. Remove from pot and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and melt remaining 1/2 cup butter, then add flour, whisking constantly. Add milk and chicken stock and stir to combine. Add broccoli, carrots and onions.
Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Add cheese and remaining seasonings. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup has thickened. With an immersion blender, puree soup until it is almost completely smooth. Adjust flavor according to taste.
Serve with warm crusty bread.