Broccoli cheddar soup is the perfect comfort food, especially on the coldest of winter days. Serve it in a homemade bread bowl and there’s no going back to ceramic bowls!
Brrrr! Some of the coldest weather of the winter season is blowing across the country this week, and boy oh boy! Are we ever feeling it here Up North! We’ll be hanging around the low teens (F) this week, and we’ll even be in single digits for a day or two.
With the winter winds blowing every ounce of warmth out of us, soup will definitely be on the menu this week in an attempt to keep us as warm as possible on the inside. Actually, I find the weather an incredible stroke of luck because I love hot soup, and it is Soup Week!
Soup Week is bound to chase the chill out of this arctic air. Take that, jack Frost! Look for a schedule of all of the soupy deliciousness at the end of this post.
Speaking of soup… take a look at this homemade broccoli cheddar goodness!
I made a pot of my most-favorite soup in the entire world especially for Soup Week. Back in the days of being a Professional Computer Geek, my job was 100% travel, which meant that my co-workers and I were out braving the elements all day, every day–the postal service didn’t have anything on us! But on those blustery days where the wind would seemingly cut right through us like a hot knife through butter? Those were kind of days we’d find any excuse to meet up for lunch, just to get out of the cold and seek shelter in good conversation with friends.
Come winter, my BFF/co-worker Christie and I would regularly try to synchronize our routes to meet. Our team at work had a cute pager code for lunch meetings: 922.
Yes, I said pager. Hello, 1997.
Whenever we felt the need, we’d page each other with our car-mounted cell phone numbers, adding the extension 922 after it. As in, call me back because I’m freezing my hieney off out here and if I don’t eat lunch soon I might fade out of existence. So call me NOW! Or when your done at your customer site. Not a 911 emergency, but close enough.
So on cold, wintry days, we’d often schedule lunch meetings at a certain national bread chain. One that I was convinced had the best broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl in the entire world. They have other lovely entrees, but I was all about that soup in a bread bowl.
I mean, come on! Who doesn’t love a hearty, vegetable-laden cheese soup served in a bowl of carbalicious love?
That kind of soupalicious love can easily be made at home with a few simple ingredients.
I’m in a lovealicious kind of mood today, so bear with me. 😉
Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, and give the onion a good dice. If you’re like me and live in a house full of wanna-be-onion-haters, you might want to go a little finer than a dice with the onions. If they don’t see the onions, the onions don’t exist.
Melt the butter in a stock pot set over medium heat. Sauté the onions and carrots for five minutes, or until they’re soft.
Add the broccoli and garlic to the pot, and sauté for another minute or two.
The broccoli won’t be soft, but it will perk up and turn a nice, bright shade of green.
Little known fact: brightly colored broccoli makes broccoli cheddar soup taste better.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stirring to coat.
Pour the chicken stock into the floured vegetables, continuing to cook and stir over medium heat until the base thickens.
Pour the milk into the thickened base, stirring to combine.
Continue stirring the soup while bringing it to a rolling boil that can not be stirred down. Once you’re there, turn off the heat.
Stir the cheese into the soup until it becomes smooth, velvety, and oh-so-cheesy.
Now, if you’re exceptionally chilly, you can serve the broccoli cheddar soup in a regular bowl, for a quick warm up.
But really? I have something more fun in mind.
A couple of artisan bread bowls are so much more exciting to serve soup out of than a plain ol’ ceramic bowl. These particular bread bowls can (and should!) be made at home in under an hour, with only 10 minutes of active effort.
No teasing or fooling! Anyone can do it.
Sons #1 & #2 love mixing the dough because it is so easy to assemble. Dump five ingredients into a bowl, stir with a wooden spoon, and refrigerate it until you’re ready for fresh bread. When the time comes, hack off a hunk of dough, roughly shape it on a cutting board, allow it a short rise, then pop it in the oven. No kneading, no blooming of yeast, no weighing of ingredients. No fuss, no muss–just really great bread that tastes like it came from a fancy bread shop.
Believe me when I tell you, I tried to crack the code to delicious, crusty artisan bread at home for years without success. Then Zoe Francois and Jeffrey Hertzberg wrote a book called Artisan Bread and Five Minutes a Day. Their AB in 5 website offers a great step-by-step tutorial on the process.
They say their book revolutionizes home baking, and it truly does. If you’re convinced that you can’t make good bread at home or if yeast scares the bejeezes out of you, I highly recommend you sourcing a copy of AB in 5.
It will make your broccoli cheddar soup that much more delicious.
Our favorite nursing student Haley/Girlie Girl Cooks shows us how they soup-it-up Montana style with her Hearty Vegetable Mexican Soup and Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread.
More delicious soups for Soup Week:
- Madeline/Munching in the Mitten – Garbage Soup (She promises her soup is way more appetizing than it sounds.)
- Mads/La Petite Pancake – Gnocchi Pesto Soup
- Megan/Country Cleaver – 40 Clove Garlic Chicken Soup with Parmesan Croutons (!!)
- Lauren/Climbing Grier Mountain – Sunchoke Soup with Gorgonzola & Honey Crostini
- Monica/The Grom Mom – Coconut Curry with a lot of Aloha
- Carrie/Bakeaholic Mama – Beef Bourguignon with French Baguettes
- Kat/Tenaciously Yours – Eat Live Run’s White Chicken Chili
- Allison/Decadent Philistines – Arizona Mountain Soup with Cornbread