Friday, January 17, 2014

The Perfect Cold Weather Soup

I hate the cold.

Actually, I can't decide which I hate more between humid heat (think Florida in July/August) and frigid cold (come on Ohio, knock it off). I think, until summer, the cold is going to be the most hated. One dislike at a time I guess!

To get over my Ohio winter blues, I love making hearty, comforting meals for dinner. There's nothing like spending the rest of the night relaxing with some Everybody Loves Raymond reruns (don't judge) with a full, warm tummy and flannel pj's.

Not to mention a cute puppy dog sleeping next to me (why yes, he IS in a red fleece hoodie...he gets cold). What a cutie!

I'm slowly building my arsenal of "cozy" recipes, and thought I'd share this one with you guys since the hubby and I loved it so much. I got this little gem from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Boy can that woman cook! And always looks gorgeous, and relaxed, and just really knows her stuff. And cooks really good, manly food for her hard-working family.

No, I'm not obsessed.

So on to the deliciousness that is Broccoli Cheese Soup. I copied the recipe from Ree's site, but added my own changes and additions into it. If you'd like to see the original, please click here.

We really enjoyed this recipe because it was comforting, very filling (even the husband, who is near impossible to fill, was stuffed), and easy to make. Not to mention low-carb (IF you don't serve bread with it...but where's the fun in that?).

  • 1 whole small Onion, Diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter
  • ⅓ cups Flour
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 4 heads Broccoli Cut Into Florets
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • 3 cups Grated Cheese (we used a 3 cheese blend but I would go with sharp cheddar next time)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 4 tablespoons Tabasco (your Favorite Variety, we like Chipotle)
  • 2 tablespoons Red Pepper Flakes
  • Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning

Preparation Instructions (Modified from the Pioneer Woman)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, then add the onions and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until softened and browning, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in the milk and half-and-half. Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper. Add Tabasco and red pepper flakes to taste.

Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in the cheese and allow to melt.

Either serve as is, or mash it with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender in two batches and puree completely. (If you puree it in a blender, return it to the heat and allow to heat up). Add chicken broth if you want a thinner consistency.

Serve with (or in) warm, toasty bread and Enjoy!

*Note: Next time we make this we're going to try to add shredded chicken to get more protein and flavor in. Should be even more yummy!

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