If I had to choose, I’d say springing forward isn’t exactly my thing. I’m more of a falling back kind of girl. Sunshine at 6 AM? No thanks. I enjoy winter, which is actually a little funny since I spent half of my life on an island where winter simply means rain, not cold. I don’t mind cold. My moods definitely work with the weather, though. Winter’s not always kind, but there are comforts in those times. Like soup.
The last few winters, I’ve said I’d make more soup. I have failed miserably at following through. I’m not disappointed, really. I don’t know what I have against the stuff; I enjoy eating soup, just not thinking about eating it. It’s crazy. I don’t know if my apprehension is because the only times I really remember eating soup over the course of my life has been times I’ve been sick. That and a Chinese turkey rice soup (jook) my parents would make a few days after Thanksgiving.
I love cheddar broccoli soup. The following recipe is a version of that. I happened to have some sweet peppers that needed to be used up. If you can’t find them, simply replace them with a little bell pepper if you’d like. This soup freezes well, too!
Broccoli Potato Cheese Soup
1 large onion, diced
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup sweet peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic
½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
7 cups vegetable broth
2 cups low-fat milk (or whatever you have on hand)
½ cup heavy cream
5 cups fresh broccoli (florets and non-tough stems)
2 cups diced russet potatoes
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 oz. light beer (Drink the rest, of course… or use the whole thing.)
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook until the onions are soft and opaque, stirring occasionally (10-15 minutes). Add the sweet peppers and garlic. Stir and allow the mixture to cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
Sprinkle in the flour, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat everything in the pot evenly. Cook for a couple minutes then add in your broth, milk, and cream. Stir well. Add the potatoes and broccoli, stirring again. Cover the pot and reduce your heat to low. Cook until the broccoli and potatoes are tender (40-50 minutes).
At this point I like to strain the liquid from the solid ingredients, blending the solids in my food processor then adding them back to the liquids. You can do that or work in batches, blending everything in a high-power blender or food processor.
Add the pureed soup back to your hot pot, over low heat. Stir in the cheddar cheese and beer, mixing well. Taste then add more salt and pepper to your liking. Serve hot.