LOADED BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 Tablespoon olive oil + 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons butter
½ cup flour
1 32oz carton chicken stock divided 3 cups + 1 cup
2 cups half and half
4-6 cups fresh broccoli florets, chopped down into small pieces
16oz velveeta cheese, cubed into small squares
1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne
Grated fresh nutmeg
Salt and pepper
One sourdough loaf torn into hunks
In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat, saute onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil and 1 T butter. Saute until tender. Stir in the 4 T butter until melted, then shake flour over the veggies. Stir to coat and cook/stir for about 2 more minutes. Pour in 3 cups of the stock; stir to combine with the veggies and the flour. Add half and half, stir well. Bring just to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Stir in broccoli florets and cheese. Stir so the cheese melts into the stock/cream. Add cayenne, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.
Set the oven to 400F. Spread sourdough hunks on a sheet pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. Toast for 10-15 minutes until a little crisp but still chewy on the inside.
To serve, ladle into soup bowls, top with green onions and hunks of toasted bread. And maybe bacon if you happen to have any bits.
TOASTED BREAD BOWL OPTION Carefully hollow out sourdough rounds. Line them up on a sheet pan. Drizzle rounds with olive oil. Season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. Toast for 10-15 minutes. Ladle soup into bread bowls and garnish.