broccoli and cheddar soup

by Stacy

When I’m reading cooking magazines or reading blogs, I often flag or bookmark recipes. Usually I’m missing one or more ingredients, we won’t be home to eat dinner for a few days, or the weather just isn’t quite right.

A few days ago I was reading Heidi Swanson’s lovely blog, 101 Cookbooks, and saw this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup. I made it for dinner the next day.

broccoli cheddar soup

Every once in a while I am motivated enough to get up and make a recipe right away, and the cooling evenings and the presence of broccoli in my fridge was just enough to push me over the edge.

I did alter the recipe a bit — no shallot, no croutons, added some half and half — but it really hit the spot and was delicious. The leftovers were also great for lunch the next day. Other changes I made from Heidi’s recipe: I used a cube of vegetable bullion because I had it, and I used whatever mild cheddar we had in the fridge. Still good.

Unfortunately, I think soup is really challenging to photograph well.

broccoli cheddar soup

I’m not just talking about for me, personally, but I think it’s often hard to take a picture of soup that really looks appetizing. So often the photos just look like glop. Just trust me when I say that you will not regret making this soup, even if it doesn’t look fantastic. It tastes great.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes about 4 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups light vegetable broth
1 large head of broccoli (12 ounces or 3/4 lb.), cut into small florets
2/3 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
1 – 3 teaspoons whole grain mustard, to taste
1/4 cup (approximately) milk or half-and-half

1.) Heat oil or butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions and saute for a few minutes until just softened. Add the cubed potato, cover the pot, and cook about 5 minutes.

2.) Remove the cover and add the garlic and the broth. Bring to a boil. Once potatoes are tender, stir in broccoli. Simmer just long enough for the broccoli to get tender.

3.) Remove soup from heat and puree with an immersion blender (or carefully in small batches in the blender).

4.) Add mustard. Add cheddar cheese a bit at a time until about half is incorporated. Stir in milk or half-and-half until desired consistency is reached. Add salt if needed, though the cheese may be enough.

5.) Serve sprinkled with remaining cheese. I also cracked a little black pepper over it and tossed a minced scallion on top, too.

broccoli cheddar soup

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Birch November 9, 2009 at 8:59 am

Clear bowls? Dunno if it’d make anything look more appetizing, but you could see it better…


stacy November 9, 2009 at 9:35 am

I’ve considered that for pudding — another food which tends not to photograph well. Three seconds of research tells me that garnish is the key.


tater1112 November 10, 2009 at 6:49 pm

yeah, but pudding probably doesn’t photograph well because it’s gross and slimy.


stacy November 10, 2009 at 10:13 pm


Not true! I should make butterscotch pudding again and try to take nice photos to entice you to make it. Yum yum.


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