Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).
Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Whisk in the flour and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Gradually whisk in the half-and-half, and continue to whisk until smooth.
Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and nutmeg, then season lightly with salt and pepper.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened (about 20 minutes).
Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender (about 20 minutes).
Discard the bay leaves, then puree the soup in a blender or a food processor (you'll probably need to do this in multiple batches with a blender) until smooth.
Return the soup to the pot, then add the cheese and whisk over medium heat until it's all melted.
If the soup is too thick, add up to 3/4 cup water and let simmer down to desired thickness.
Garnish with more broccoli florets or cheese, and serve hot.
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