Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Soup

It's rainy. It's cold. It's Christmas vacation. I'm in the mood for soup. Now, the husband is convinced soup is just not a big enough dinner, but when you have a rich and creamy chowder running down your throat while the rain simultaneously runs down the windowpane is this not sufficient? He still says, No. Okay, I'll budge.

So, tonight I put a delicious pot of Broccoli Cheese soup on and a fine selection of deli meats, cheeses, and spreads to offer Build-Your-Own Hot Paninis! The result: success and content on the part of my husband and our dinner guests. In the end, I felt satisfied with the push to go beyond the bowl of steamy delicious soup. Oh--and, dessert? Monkey bread! But, since I don't bake (much) it was a pre-packaged dessert from the market.

Broccoli Cheese Soup:
1 large section from a shallot, diced finely
4 white ends from 4 green onions, diced (save the green tops!)
1/3 c. butter (it's better than margarine)
1 14 oz. bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 8 oz. block of medium cheddar cheese
1 lb. block of Velveeta cheese
1 32 oz. box of chicken stock
1 1/3 cup 2% milk (less fat makes the soup too runny, more fat makes it more delicious!)
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 heaping tsp. corn starch
1/4 c. water

In a large stock pot, melt butter. Add in shallot and white ends from green onions. Saute until tender. Add in broccoli. Stir and saute a few minutes to defrost broccoli. Pour entire box of chicken stock. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until broccoli is tender. Meanwhile, shred the cheddar cheese and cut the Velveeta into cubes. Once broccoli is tender, add in both cheeses. Stir in a figure eight shape until cheese melts. Turn heat to medium-low. Add in milk and garlic powder. Allow to heat through entirely. In a separate measuring cup, mix the cornstarch and water. Once cheesy mixture of deliciousness is heated through, add in the cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly until soup is thickened. Serve with a sprinkling of green onion tops. You could even top with bacon bits and sour cream?! Get creative....salsa? More cheese?

deli meats--your choice!
deli cheeses--your choice!
bread: the best choices are Sheepherder's and French
spreads like mayo, mustards of various flavors, and cream cheese
sandwich toppers like sliced tomato, lettuce, banana pepper rings, roasted red peppers, chopped olives, pickles, sprouts, or whatever else you like!

Butter the bread and put on a hot panini press. Add your sandwich fillings and toppings, put the other piece of bread on top and press the panini press down. Enjoy alongside the bowl of creamy, delicious, Broccoli Cheese soup!

Here are pictures of the soup...the paninis? Yeah...they were eaten too quickly!

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