Let’s ‘brocc’ and roll with soup this summer

A few years ago, we met a young newspaper editor from Kentucky while we were at a conference. She’s one of those “do it all” folks and in addition to being a managing editor, she runs a small farm.

I’m friends with her on Facebook, and now that summer is in full swing, I enjoy seeing the photos of her fresh vegetables when she sets up at her local farmer’s market.

Recently, she posted a photo of some gorgeous stalks of broccoli, and it gave me a major craving. Joey isn’t much of a broccoli fan, so I waited for an evening when he wouldn’t be home and made myself a big batch of soup.

I know it’s July and it’s hot, but I will eat soup any time of the year—especially if it has some fresh veggies in it. Plus, the recipe’s author says it freezes well, so I was able to fill up some freezer containers for later, too.

The recipe I used is from the website “Happy Money Saver.” You can find it at https://happymoneysaver.com/homemade-creamy-cheesy-broccoli-soup/. I used more garlic and also swapped skim milk into the recipe instead of half and half. The original also used gouda in addition to cheddar.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

5 cups chicken broth

1 small onion, minced

4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 cup carrots, grated

4-6 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

garlic salt and pepper, to taste1

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup flour

1 cup milk (I used skim)

1-1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded

Directions

In a pot with a lid, combine the broth, onion, broccoli, carrots, garlic, bay leaf and some garlic salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and place the lid on the pot. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the broccoli is nearly cooked through.

When the veggies are nearly done, melt the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for a couple minutes. Once the broccoli mixture is cooked, begin adding the liquid you cooked the vegetables in to the Dutch oven with a ladle, whisking as you do to incorporate the flour roux.

Once the liquid thickens a bit, toss in the vegetables (remove the bay leaf), milk and more garlic salt and pepper, if desired.

After the mixture is heated through, remove it from the stove and stir in the cheese until it’s melted.

Serve with some crusty bread and a fresh salad to really bring in the garden-fresh deliciousness.

I was really excited about this soup, and I liked that it wasn’t made with heavy cream, too, so I didn’t feel quite as badly about enjoying a big bowl of it.

Plus, I’m pumped to have several containers of this waiting in my freezer to go to work with me for lunch in the coming weeks.

I won’t be making it to Kentucky for my friend’s fresh broccoli any time soon, but I think it’s time to do some visiting to our local farmer’s markets. It looks like the gardens are starting to overflow with some amazing veggies, so it’s time for my table to overflow with them, too.

Lindsey Young is co-owner of Kansas Publishing Ventures which publishes The Hillsboro Free Press. She is also the Free Press office manager. She can be reached at: 
lindsey@kspublishingventures.com