Broccoli Cheddar Chowder

Broccoli Cheddar Chowder

Scarlett and I created this soup on one of those days you don’t really have anything left in the refrigerator. We’re both fans of a broccoli and cheddar soup we get at a local restaurant that comes in a bread bowl. (Actually, I’m a fan of anything that lives in a bowl made from bread but that’s beside the point.) So when I asked her if she wanted soup (thinking I’d make a simple egg drop or something), she immediately said, “I wish we could go out and have our soup.” What she thought she was doing was convincing me to just throw in the towel on this whole making dinner thing and just go out. Her plan might have worked–she knows how much I lust after that soup–but instead I said, “Wait! I have broccoli.” She gave me that disappointed and annoyed look that only an 11 year old can give and then said, “Are you actually thinking you can make it?”

I’m not sure what she meant by “actually” since she knows I can “actually” make recipes but yet her lovely (eye roll) little question hung in the air. So I did what all moms do when they’re staring down a kid who doesn’t think they can pull off the impossible, I decided to dazzle her with my you-bet-your-hangry-little-butt-I’m-going-to-make-it-and-you-will-love-it-if-it-kills-me soup making skills.

It didn’t kill me and it was pretty awesome. Well, you be the judge. I’m calling it a chowder because that’s what a girl from New England does when she makes a soup with a thick roux but, truth be told, I don’t use a potato to thicken it. You tell me if you miss the potato? Also, let me know if you miss the bread bowl too.

Photo by Ashley van der Laan

Broccoli Cheddar Chowder

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek (white and pale green parts only), cleaned well and diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, mince
  • 1 large head broccoli, florets roughly chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Method

Roughly chop broccoli florets and add them to a food processor. Process until the broccoli is the consistency of rice. 

Warm oil in medium dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and saute until leeks are soft, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add broccoli and broth and bring to a simmer, cook for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook for about 1 minute while whisking. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue whisking until the sauce thickens; coating the back of a spoon. Remove pan from heat and stir in the cheese. Stir the cheese mixture into the soup until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

 

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