Low-Carb Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Friday, March 01, 2013

So, I've thought about posting a recipe for a while now, but I didn't know what I would post! I wanted to post something original, but I've just been feeling so uninspired in the kitchen lately. And by lately, I mean the last year or two! I seem to remember a time when I made a lot of good food, and I was really into trying new recipes! I don't know what happened, but now every time dinner rolls around, it just feels like a chore. I put it off because I don't know what to make, I ho and hum and mope around, and then I end up with either a boring chicken breast/side of veggie, or the always popular, but super unhealthy, meat and potatoes combo! Plus, it's eight o'clock, and Dane's been hungry for a couple hours. Housewife fail!

I did get a little more inventive a couple of months ago, when I was going through my low-carb kick. I had to be a little more creative to come up with filling, healthy veggie dishes, and I ended up coming up with a couple of low-carb soups! One in particular, the broccoli cheese, has been sounding crazy good lately (probably because I've been sick) and I decided I couldn't wait any longer, I had to make some!

Then I decided I should share it with you all!

I usually am not much of a recipe follower, so a lot of the times I make something up, I can't hardly recreate it. This soup was so easy though, I could remember pretty much all of it. I decided to actually write down everything I did this time, and then tweak it to make it turn out even better! It is so simple, and it doesn't take very long. Plus, did I mention, there's only six ingredients?

Here's what you're going to need:

2 tablespoons of butter or oil
1 medium onion
1 head of cauliflower
6-7 cups of chicken broth
5-6 cups of broccoli
5 cups of cheddar cheese
1 cup of milk (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

I used a six quart, enamel covered cast iron pot, but any large heavy duty pot should do the trick. Start off by chopping your onion and cauliflower. Melt your butter over medium heat, and add your onion. You want to saute it for about five to ten minutes, until it softens. They should go from something like this:

To this:

Meanwhile, rinse your cauliflower and add it to your pot. Then, add your broth.

Bring it up to a boil, then cover and reduce your heat back to medium. Let it simmer for about twenty minutes, or until the cauliflower softens. You should be able to stick a fork into it pretty easily. 

While this is happening, rinse and chop your broccoli. Keep in mind that you will want it in bite size pieces! Place your steamer basket in a pot with about an inch of water, over medium-high heat. When it starts to steam, add your broccoli. I added mine too soon, so I had to wait a little bit before my broccoli actually started cooking! It should steam for about ten to fifteen minutes. Again, you want to be able to pierce it with a fork, but it shouldn't be quite as soft as your cauliflower.

While everything else is cooking, shred your cheese. You can add more or less to your liking, but for a big pot like this, five cups is just about right. I like to garnish with cheese, so you can always do that too!

When your cauliflower is done, it's time to blend! Having an immersion blender is great for stuff like this, but unfortunately mine broke the last time I used it. I used my regular blender, and that worked just fine. I just transferred as many of the chunks as I could, and some of the broth. I was able to fit most of it in my blender, so I got it all in one go. You want to get most of it blended, because that is what's going to give you that thick and creamy texture.  

Pour the blended mix back into your pot, and remove from the heat. You may want to let it sit and cool for a few minutes at this point. If your base is too hot when you add your cheese, it's going to melt funny and have kind of a grainy texture. I don't mind it too much if it turns out like that, but it's better if it just melts evenly throughout. 

Once it cools for about ten minutes or so, you can add your milk if you want. This adds a nice creaminess, but if you don't want your soup to be any more runny, you can skip this. If it's a little too runny, you could try adding less broth earlier on, and then add your milk later. Once it's cool, that also means it's time to add your cheese! Just sprinkle in, and mix through. Easy, peasy!

Lastly, add your steamed broccoli, and stir. Season as needed, and voila! A delicious, comfort food, that is actually good for you! I think a lot of people would enjoy this, regardless of whether you were trying to eat low-carb or not. It's perfect for lunch or dinner. Just pair it with a salad or a sandwich, and you have a complete meal!

Mmm, you really can't have too much cheese! I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Feel free to tweak it and make it your own! Let me know if you decide to try it, and how it turns out for you. I'd love to answer any questions, or hear about any problems! 

Well, I'm off for the night, have a great weekend everybody! 

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