I think I have finally managed to appease the lonely head of broccoli that had been hanging out in my fridge for a week. Tonight I made some broccoli cheese soup for dinner (from scratch, aren’t you proud?). Yes, today marks the start of my culinary adventures, and I’ve gotta say, it was quite a success (I’m soooo full now, so what does that tell you? Well, I guess I could have decided the soup was a bust and moved on to 4 bowls of cereal, but I assure you, that is not what happened…)
I got the recipe from a cookbook called Teens Cook. Even if you’re not a teenager, per se, (or perhaps just one at heart!) this book is perfect for the new or kitchen-shy, timid chef. It’s chock-full of great-tasting recipes, and it’s got loads of fun photos. The girls in my family refuse to buy a cookbook unless it has pictures in it. How else are you supposed to know what it looks like?! Page through it here. One of my favorite sections in the book is the Dinner for One section. Because, really, no matter how much you love what you’ve perfected in the kitchen, who wants to eat that for the next 4-5 meals (there are some slight exceptions to this statement…)? (Personally, I’m dying to try the Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Roasted Red Pepper Foccacia on page 28 🙂
Here’s what YOU need to do (to be eating soup in approximately 20 minutes):
Ingredients List for Broccoli Cheese Soup:
- 1/2 bunch of broccoli
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk
- 4 slices American cheese
- S&P (salt & peppa!)
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Croutons, optional
I started out by putting a pot of water on the stove and, while waiting for it to boil, chopped the broccoli into tiny pieces (making sure to discard the stems). There’s really no rhyme or reason to this in terms of how big or small they should be – do you want big chunks of broccoli or little pieces? Up to you, my friend!
Once the water reaches a boil & your “Christmas trees” are all chopped up, slide them allll into the water, and leave them there until slightly crunchy, approx. 5 minutes. Then, drain and set aside.
Next, melt the butter into the same saucepan over medium heat; then, stir in the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbly (I found that it was bubbling much quicker than 2-3 minutes-worth…just make sure it doesn’t burn!). Add 1 cup of the milk and stir until combined/smooth. Add the remaining 3 cups of milk and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes (or until it begins to boil).
Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the American cheese slices, stirring until all the cheese is melted into the milk/butter/flour mixture. Season with S&P, and add the broccoli (leaving out a few for a garnish, if you wish), and stir to combine.
This makes 4 servings, so if you’ve gotten on someone’s nerves recently and need to make amends, or if you simply have some extra holiday cheer in you and would like to invite a friend over for dinner, it’s the perfect amount. I actually cut the recipe in 1/2 – it’s up to you!
You didn’t think I could eat this without a cornbread muffin on the side, did ya? (This was just a Jiffy mix…next time I’ll be more ambitious and make ’em from scratch, but tonight I had some studying to do, so I was in a Jiffy 🙂 )
Disclaimer: The only downside about this epic made-from-scratch meal was the fact that I had to do the dishes afterwards 😦 (Where’s my dad when you need him? He is the world’s best dish-dryer!)
After talking to my sister on the phone, I told her that I’m sure this blog will take some time to grow. She told me she really liked how practical the stuff is. I’m sure not everyone is capable (or has the time/$/desire) to whip up 5-star meals every night. No, I’m not making spectacular food right away, but the whole point of this is that I’m learning! Right along with YOU. Healthy, delicious, nutritious meals – soooo much better than that frozen stuff (though I’ve been known to pop a Lean Pocket in the oven every now and again 😉 )