Keep the winter chill away with this hearty, cheesy soup from CHOW.com! Served with a crusty loaf of bread to dunk in the soup, what could be better?
Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
1 1/2 pounds broccoli (about 1 large head)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, medium dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium russet potato (8 ounces)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 cups water
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)
2 tablespoons sour cream
Remove the florets from the broccoli head and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Place half in a large bowl and half in a small bowl; set aside. Cut off the bottom of the stalk and use a vegetable peeler to trim away the woody outer layer. Cut the stalk into 1-inch pieces and place them in the large bowl with the florets; set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the potato and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Add the potato, chicken broth, water, and reserved pieces of stalk and florets from the large bowl to the saucepan, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potato pieces and broccoli stalks can be easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the remaining florets into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside.
Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Place the blended soup in a clean saucepan and return it to low heat. Add the reserved broccoli florets and simmer until they are tender and can easily be pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese and sour cream. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
*Recipe and image courtesy of CHOW.com.*