I’ve been at that dreaded pre-cold stage all week, yuck! You know, that gross place where you’re definitely not 100% well, but you’re fighting to keep from going over that tipping point on the way to a full-blown, super annoying cold? So, I’ve been taking all the herbal remedies I can get my hands on and drinking lots of tea, and I’ve managed to stay teetering on the edge for a few days now. My parents are visiting this weekend and I was hoping to take them out for a nice dinner in “the big city,” but I just wasn’t feeling up to it last night. The spirit was willing, but my throat is so scratchy that I didn’t think I could enjoy my food, nor did I want to yell across the table in a crowded restaurant. So, we stayed in and I made soup instead.
This is a great soup for nursing a cold – literally, the common cold, or also just to ward against that chilly fall air that’s taking over right now. It’s full of broccoli, which is obviously a superfood and packed with vitamins. Most of all, it’s hearty and warm, almost like a vegetarian chili. You’ll love it, I promise!
BROCCOLI CHEDDAR CHOWDER
2 tbsps butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ C flour
1 box of vegetable or low salt chicken stock
2 C of potatoes, cut into cubes
1 bay leaf
3 C chopped broccoli
1 ½ C milk
1 ½ C shredded cheddar cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
Cook onion, stirring, for 2 minutes or until softened. Blend in flour; stir in the stock. Bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened.
Add potatoes and bay leaf: reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, for at least 10 minutes.
Add broccoli, simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes more or until all the vegetables are tender.
When vegetables are tender, mash gently with a potato masher, leaving some chunky bits. Or, I like to use my handheld immersion blender here to get a bit smoother texture.
Stir in milk and cheese; heat just until the cheese melts and the soup is piping hot. DO NOT LET THE SOUP BOIL OR IT MAY CURDLE! Remove the bay leaf; adjust the seasoning with pepper to taste.
On top of each dish of soup, sprinkle with more grated cheese.