Cheap Recipe: The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup Ever!

9 Oct

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

If you like broccoli soup, you're going to LOVE this...

If you like broccoli soup, you're going to LOVE this...

Okay, so maybe the title of this post is a tad bit pompous, but I don’t think anyone who’s ever eaten my quasi-famous broccoli cheese soup would dispute this. So there. Nananana-boo-boo.

Any good soup starts out with onions and butter!

Any good soup starts out with onions and butter!

Several ingredients make this soup the flavorful wonder that it is. Most of them I’ve just sort of stumbled across over time, but the end result is a satisfying blend of tastes that really stands out, especially for a creamy soup.

Begin by dicing a sweet yellow onion. Heat a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat with 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter and throw in the

Dehydrated Vegetable Soup/Dip Recipe Mix. Any kind will do--I like Knorr brand.

Dehydrated Vegetable Soup/Dip Mix. Any kind will do--I like Knorr brand.

 onion pieces. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic, 1-2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). Stir often until onions are transparent and begin to carmelize.

Next, add 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken or vegetable broth (or substitute 3-1/2 cups water) and

Broth, onions and soup mix.

Broth, onions and soup mix.

bring to simmer. Empty contents of a (1- to 2-ounce size packet) dehydrated vegetable recipe mix (like Lipton or Knorr) into simmering stock and reduce heat to MEDIUM or MEDIUM-LOW. Simmer about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave-thaw 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen creamed spinach, or regular plain spinach if you can’t find any creamed variety. (Although the creamed kind really does make a difference!) Add the thawed or cooked spinach to the simmering pot and stir.

Creamed (or regular) spinach gives the soup a bright, pretty look and adds plenty of texture.

Creamed (or regular) spinach gives the soup a bright, pretty look and adds plenty of texture.

Measure about 3 cups whole milk and add slowly to the soup. Make sure heat is

Chopped broccoli chunks.

Chopped broccoli chunks.

below the MEDIUM mark to avoid scorching or pan-sticking. Allow slow simmer to return to pot.

Chop 1 to 2 large, fresh broccoli crowns into small florets, being careful to discard any parts of stem that are tough or dry–you don’t want them turning into pokey little shards later in your creamy concoction! Add the chopped broccoli to the soup and cover pot with lid, reducing heat to LOW. Simmer ten minutes or until broccoli is bright in color and beginning to soften.

Stir often and reduce heat after adding milk!

Stir often and reduce heat after adding milk!

Sprinkle 8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded American or Velveeta-type processed cheese

If Velveeta shreds aren't on sale, you can always just chop up regular processed generic Velveeta or American cheese.

If Velveeta shreds aren't on sale or available at your discount grocery, you can always just chop up regular processed generic Velveeta or American cheese.

into pot. Stay close by for several minutes, stirring often and increasing heat slightly if cheese is still discernable. If desired, additional amounts of cheese may be added to thicken the soup or enhance flavor. Add additional milk if soup becomes too thick.

The important thing is to keep the finished soup uncovered over heat and stir often to allow for an even melt and promote escaping steam to make soup thicker and more concentrated. If serving some right away, leave the rest of the pot uncovered on the stove over LOW heat for up to 2-3 hours more,

The soup will turn yellow as steam is allowed to escape, making it look cheesier!

The soup will turn yellow as steam is allowed to escape, making it look cheesier!

 stirring occasionally, to thicken the leftovers before refrigeration. Keep in mind that when leftovers are covered for reheating, they can get runny again with moisture, so a thick soup base is key.

I like to transfer the leftovers to the Crock Pot and take them to work the next day. Nothing like hungry college students to make you feel like a great cook! In fact, I brought a slow-cooker full of it to work this morning and the pot was scraped clean before some people had even taken their lunch breaks yet!

Mmm. Leftovers!
Mmm. Leftovers!

Serve with hot baguette bread chunks or buttery Club-style crackers for a hearty meal.

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2 Responses to “Cheap Recipe: The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup Ever!”

  1. Christopher Austin October 9, 2009 at 6:25 PM #

    I just finished up testing broccoli cheese soup recipes and came across yours today. You took a different approach, but that’s what I like about home cooking. There is no right way.

    The recipe looks simple, easy to pull off, and straight forward… Easy on the pocket book too, which is great.

    I like the addition of creamed spinach.

    I am definitely going to try this recipe the next time I get around to making a pot of soup.

  2. Gracie October 11, 2009 at 9:59 AM #

    Thanks! I tried a lot of different regular-sounding recipes on the Internet for years before I invented this one. I always noticed the other ones coming out either grainy or the cornstarch would make them almost gravy-like. This one steers clear of cornstarch but it tastes (to me) more like plain homemade broccoli soup than a lot of the other more normal sounding recipes.

    I can’t wait to find out your review of the finished product! Be sure to comment when you’ve made it and let me know how it came out!!

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