Thick and Hearty Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Soup

3 Apr
Thick and Creamy Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Soup

Thick and Creamy Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Soup

This is pea-soup thick, I tell you! Stand up spoon thick. And can be an awesome meatless main if I can get hubby to stop adding bacon to everything. Not that I don’t mind the bacon, don’t get me wrong, but he seems to want to add a meat protein to everything he makes, even when it doesn’t really need it. However, I am SOOOO grateful my husband cooks. Thank You!!! xoxoxo.

We had some coolish days last week before an incredible Easter Weekend warm-up where I worked my hiney-off in the yard pulling weeds that were just starting to poke up. I have a real trouble spot with those in the backyard. I also planted my herb garden! I am so looking forward to having fresh-grown herbs around again. It’s still too early for permanently leaving them outdoors so they come in at night in my handy-dandy deck rail planter pots.  My husband was also busy on his super-secret tomato plant project, which won’t be so super-secret soon once I blab my mouth here and fill you in on it. But that comes later. Today it’s all about the soup. I hope you enjoy!

p.s. I didn’t watch him make this, I only showed up to eat and take pictures, and had to drag the ingredients and method out of him later. So if I’ve missed a step or ingredient here and there… sorry!

Thick and Creamy Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Soup

4 strips bacon, cooked (totally optional!)
1 to 2 heads of broccoli, depending on size
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
5 cups homemade or low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about one cup)

So the first indication I got that hubby was cooking was the smell of bacon wafting up through the hallway into my office at about four in the afternoon. Really? Are you going to make me salivate at my desk here while I am slaving a way at work??? All that aside, he told me earlier he was going to make a broccoli, potato, and cheese soup, so when I smelled BACON I was a bit confused. So of course I had to go downstairs and investigate. And sniggle. Oh. do you know what “sniggle” means? I said I was going to do that to the Easter ham the other day and he asked if that’s really a word. Well, in my book it is. It means: If you take teensy-weensy pieces of something that’s supposed to be part of the main meal before it’s served, it tastes better. And that is the Honest-to-God Truth. Amen.

Thick and Hearty Broccoli and Potato Cheese Soup

Thick and Hearty Broccoli and Potato Cheese Soup

On to the prep of this, give or take ingredients and steps.

If you are adding bacon, cook this first. Otherwise, cut all the florets off the broccoli and trim the stalks. Add olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, minced garlic, and HALF the broccoli florets and half the stalks to a large soup pot or dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until the veggies start to soften, then add the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 10 or 15 minutes. In batches, puree all the vegetables in a blender or food processor with some of the liquid until smooth, and return to the pot. Or, if you have a handy-dandy immersion blender, use that instead. I don’t have one. Do I need one? I don’t know but I have no room for it.

Next, add the diced potatoes, the seasonings to taste, and the rest of the broccoli florets. You can save the other half of the broccoli stalks for another use, or compost them. Bring back up to a boil, then turn down to simmer again for about 15 or 20 minutes until the potatoes and florets are tender. I think he added some of the bacon at this point, but can’t be sure. Either way, it’s optional. Last, add the cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and stir to combine and melt. (Hint: The pre-bagged store-bought stuff will clump in a soup like this. Do yourself and the soup a favor and shred your own cheese from a block.) Garnish with cooked bacon pieces (optional) and serve with slices of thick, buttered French bread. Oh my, this was so good. I’m sure it freezes well, but we ate so much that night that we were able to finish it off for lunch the next day.

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