Thursday, March 29, 2012

Broccoli (Spinach) Cheese Soup

I know you are asking yourself, "Spinach?".  Trust me.  Trust me.  This soup is good, fast, healthy and so easy to make.  It literally takes less than 15 minutes to make it, especially if you buy the pre-cut broccoli from Costco and are looking for ways to use it up before it all goes bad.  Also, there are no thickeners like flour or cornstarch in this soup.  It is creamy and velvety and flavourful and just plain good.  You could take some of the broccoli out before you blend it and add them back in for texture if you do not want it so smooth.  Whatever way you eat it, just eat it.  It is chuck full of lovely green vegetables, super high in Vitamin C, calcium, iron and folate and all kinds of good-for-you things.  You and your body will thank me later .....

Broccoli-Spinach Cheese Soup
recipe adapted from several sources (Whole Living and Cher Stuff)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small clove garlic (optional)
3 c chopped fresh broccoli
2-3 c chicken broth
2 c fresh baby spinach
1/2+ c shredded medium cheddar cheese (or sharp would be extra yummy)
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese (the real stuff not the powder in the green can)
1/4 c cream (I use heavy cream but you can use half and half if you like)

In a medium-large pot, add oil and cook onion over medium heat until soft.  Add garlic if using, one minute.  Throw in the broccoli and stir a minute or so until coated.  Pour in broth and cover, bringing to a boil.  Cook until soft, 6 minutes or so.  Add spinach and stir, putting lid back on for a minute or two until it wilts.  Pour off about 1/2 c of the liquid and put aside and puree with an immersion blender or if you do not have one put in regular blender.  Add back reserved liquid as needed to blend smooth.  If you want a chunkier texture be sure to take some of the broccoli out before you blend it.  Add cheeses and stir until melted, stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and continue to heat to desired temperature.  Serve with more grated cheese, if you like.  And really, who doesn't want more melty cheese in their life?!?

Go forth and cook, my pretties ......

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