Cheesy Broccoli Soup

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Ahh! It's been snowing here in Utah since yesterday afternoon. Stephen and I woke up extra early this morning to shovel snow so that he wouldn't be late to class. We were surprised, although we shouldn't have been, to find about 7-8 inches... it's definitely a winter wonderland out there! I hear it's suppose to continue snowing until tomorrow afternoon, so that means it's time for me to break out my Le Creuset and start making soup! Earlier in the week I made this cheesy broccoli soup before I went to work. Not only was it quick to make, but I felt like I was getting a full serving of veggies with each spoonful. With that said, if you're looking to lighten things up you can always use fat-free half & half and go easy on the cheese, it will taste just as good, I promise! I'm definitely considering making this again tonight, Stephen loved it and I did too! Have a great weekend and for those braving the snow, be safe!

Cheesy Broccoli Soup
Ingredients
¼ c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. butter
2 c. chicken stock
2 c. half & half or heavy cream
2 large heads of broccoli, sectioned into bite size pieces
1 carrot, cut into ¼" slices
2 stalks of celery, cut into ¼" slices
½ of a large yellow onion, diced
8 oz (or more) cheddar cheese, finely grated and at room temperature
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat add butter. Once butter has melted add carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly tender. Add celery and onions, cook until translucent. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and flour over vegetable mixture and stir until mixture becomes clumpy. Allow mixture to cook for one minute while stirring frequently. 
2. Add chicken broth and turn heat up to high, whisk until mixture is smooth. Add the half & half or heavy cream, then bring mixture to a boil. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli pieces. Simmer until the broccoli becomes tender and are cooked all of the way through. 
3. Remove pot from heat and allow soup to cool for 5 minutes before adding the cheese. To prevent the cheese from curdling, slowly add the cheese a few tablespoons at a time, whisking constantly. Do not add more until the cheese you just added has melted completely! Once all of the cheese has been added, serve immediately!
Note: If you want your soup to be more cheesy, just add a few more ounces of cheese to it (2-4 oz)
Stephen + Natalie | Makes approximately 6-8 servings


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