As the weather gets colder here, I’ve been dreaming of warm, comfort foods.  One of my favorite comfort foods is soup.  There’s just something about a warm, steamy bowl of soup to warm your insides.  Even though we haven’t seen our first freeze in Texas yet (or even temps below 50 degrees), I’ve already started craving soup.  My calendar says November even though the temperature reads more like September!  As soon as the temperature begins to drop, I’m ready with one of my favorite soups – broccoli cheese.

In all honesty, I’ve never made broccoli soup at home before now.  I love broccoli cheese soup and order it any time I see it on the menu at a restaurant.  I’ve been trying to figure out why I never made it myself though.  The best reason I can come up with is that I assumed it was difficult.  But I don’t have a problem admitting when I am wrong.  Oh how wrong I was!  This cheesy broccoli soup is super easy to make, only requires a few ingredients, and tastes better than any I’ve tasted before!  This recipe will be a regular at my house this winter and I’ll probably never order it at a restaurant again.  Yep…it’s that good!

These are the only ingredients that you need: broccoli, carrots, onion, Kraft Natural Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, half and half, flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and broth (not pictured).  I always prefer fresh vegetables but frozen would work fine too.  I always use Kraft Sharp Cheddar Cheese because it melts really well and that’s extremely important to the quality of this recipe.  The 1 pound bag I picked up from the Walmart refrigerator section was exactly what I was looking for.

Saute onion and carrots in olive oil for 5-8 minutes until onions are soft and fragrant.  Without smelling them myself, I can always tell they are done when my husband comes into the kitchen asking what smells so good.

Add in broccoli and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until broccoli is a beautiful bright green.  You could use frozen broccoli but I personally prefer the taste and appearance of fresh broccoli.  Pour in broth and stir.

Add in Kraft Sharp Cheddar cheese and half and half and turn heat to low.

Add in the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  You may want to add in a little more or less flour depending on how thick or thin you like your soup.  I would say that 1/4 cup makes it medium thickness, which is perfect for me – not too thin and not too thick.

Just look at that ooey-gooey cheesy goodness!  And the smell!!  OMG!!

My trusty kitchen assistant heard the cheese bag open and came in to check things out and approves.  He’s an expert with cheese and with a face like that, I find it hard to resist giving him a little.

Simmer for about 20 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.  At this point you have two options (or three, depending on how you look at it).  You can serve as is, use an immersion blender to blend, or, like me, use an immersion blender to partially blend, leaving some vegetable chunks.  If you are trying to not draw attention to vegetables being in the soup, I would recommend blending it thoroughly but if you enjoy vegetables like my family does, we like the combination of rich and creamy and chunky.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

1 onion
2 cups diced carrots
4 cups broccoli florets (I prefer fresh, but frozen is fine)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
16 ounces Kraft Natural Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

Saute onion and carrots in olive oil for 5-8 minutes until onions are soft and fragrant.
Add in broccoli and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until broccoli is a beautiful bright green.
Pour in chicken broth and stir.
Add in Kraft Natural Sharp Cheddar cheese and half and half and turn heat to low.
Add in the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Simmer for about 20 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
Using an immersion blender, blend until vegetables are desired smoothness.

Be sure to check out more delicious cheese recipes at Kraft.com. I’d love to hear about your favorite cheesy recipe or your favorite comfort soup!

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