Since we’re deep in the heart of winter where I live, I thought this a great time to post about warm comforting soup. This broccoli cheese soup recipe came from my best friend’s mom. I copied it when we were college roomies (thanks Holly). I loved it and still do. It has never failed me. It is such a good comfort soup that it will always retain a spot in my recipe collection.
There were a couple years that I didn’t make it though because my 3rd and 5th little boys had severe allergies to dairy, eggs, and nuts when they were babies. I remember how hard it was to go vegan and nut-free for 3 months while I finished breastfeeding. I ate a lot of vegetable soup during that time.
I had pretty much written off eating broccoli cheese soup ever again because I had only seen recipes with dairy in them or cashews to substitute for the cheese, until I found broccoli stem soup. This recipe comes from Dani at Clean and Delicious (I love her site). Here is her recipe for the non-dairy version, which is also linked below.
When I discovered this recipe I was so excited to try it that I went to the store searching for broccoli heads with the stem on them. When I made it, my taste buds did a jump for joy. Finally a broccoli soup that had less fat, tasted great, and had absolutely no dairy….score!!! This soup was my broccoli cheese soup salvation during the time when my son’s allergies were pretty severe.
Thankfully, they have both outgrown their allergies, but I do still try to cut back on some of our dairy intake, and certain tree nuts are out of the question because of my other son’s cashew and walnut allergies, but I love eggs, so I don’t cut those out anymore.
When I finally made this recipe again years later, I remembered just how tasty it was, so I thought I would introduce you to both recipes. You may like one or the other or both.
You can see in the photo below that I made both soups at the same time since one called for the stem and the other called for the broccoli head…bonus. Enjoy!
And here is the other classic comfort recipe:
Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 5 cups water
- 5 tsp chicken bouillon [Better Than Bouillon] (or 5 chicken bouillon cubes)
- 3-4 stalks fresh broccoli washed and trimmed (or 2-3 packages frozen chopped broccoli)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (half a stick)
- 1 (12) ounce can evaporated milk
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 1 tsp dry mustard (I have also substituted regular yellow mustard if the dry is not available)
- 2-4 cups cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine water, bouillon, onions, and broccoli in a large heavy pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. While the broccoli is boiling, in a separate bowl, whisk 3/4 cup of milk into the flour. Stir briskly to get out all the lumps. Then add the other 3/4 cup of milk and mix in the mustard. Set the milk/flour/mustard mixture aside.
Take the pan off the heat, add butter and wait until melted. Add the can of evaporated milk. Stir to combine.
Next, add the flour/milk/mustard mixture. Stir or whisk the soup as you incorporate the mixture into the pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook until it thickens.
Take pan off the heat and add the cheese (or keep it on low and watch closely). Combine well and wait until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve and enjoy!
TIP: If you don't want broccoli chunks in your soup, you can blend it up or use a hand-held immersion blender after step #1 like I did. That way you can also blend up the onions as well for those picky eaters.
What comfort soups are your favorites?