Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup, GF version

My mom makes this wonderful soup, and Eowyn and I have been gobbling it up.  Any recipe that contains broccoli which I will gobble deserves to be shared; let's just say it ain't my favorite veggie.  But, I am resolved to find at least one method of preparation for each and every formerly-hated vegetable that I truly can enjoy.  So for carrots, it's being cut up and put in a pot pie, or roasted along with sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and onions.  For cauliflower, it's being baked in a cheesy-oniony sauce.  For cabbage, I've found a tomato soup that uses quite a bit, as well as cole-slaw & colcannon (soon I'm going to have to make lots of saurkraut).  This is my new favorite way to get in my broccoli:

Broccoli- Cheddar Soup, GF (with dairy-free option)

3 cups chicken broth (or water saved from boiling or steaming veggies)
1 onion, chopped
4 cups broccoli, chopped
dash of garlic powder (or 1 minced/pressed garlic clove)
1 t dried thyme (or 1 T fresh thyme)
2 bay leaves
4 T unsalted butter, olive oil, coconut oil or palm shortening (non- hydrogenated, of course)
2 T cornstarch OR 4 T rice or corn flour (optional)
1/2 t sea salt
ground pepper to taste
2 c full-fat milk (could use coconut milk for a different flavor, or almond milk)
2 c shredded cheddar cheese  (could substitute with cubed red potatoes, added in first step)
shredded chicken, turkey, ham or bacon (optional)

1. In large saucepan, mix broth, onion, broccoli, garlic, thyme and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are soft (~10 min). 
2. Remove bay leaves.  Puree soup to desired consistency, either with immersion blender, traditional blender, food processor, or by using a potato masher. 
3. Melt butter in saucepan.  If using a flour, whisk in along with salt & pepper.  If using corn starch, first dissolve in 1/2 c of the milk, add the salt & pepper, then whisk into butter.  Add cheddar, stirring until it dissolves.
4. Add to broccoli mixture and cook until blended.  Add in meat if desired.  Serve with corn chips, gluten-free crackers or croutons.

This soup is great re-heated, and is thick enough for my toddler to feed it herself (fairly =D) effectively.  Nice and filling, too!  We are planting lots of broccoli & cabbage in our garden this year, so we'll be using this soup more than once, I guarantee!

NB:  as always, I recommend using organic animal products, and local/pesticide-free produce when possible.

What recipes do you like for veggies you always thought you hated?

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