We’re having one of those beautiful weeks of fall weather – cool, crisp, sunny and vibrant. Today’s Monday routine: catch up on the never-ending back-log of laundry, ship a package off to Mason at college, do a little grocery shopping, and try to find something to sooth a sore throat that has taken hold of me since yesterday. The cooler temps always make me crave a bowl of soup. So when the laundry was all outside catching the breeze, my bicycle and I headed off to the store.
This “Bicycle” Broccoli-Cheddar Chowder is a family favorite that I concocted many years ago, and the perfect simple supper for fall and winter. I added “Bicycle” to the name, because you should ride your bike to the market to get the ingredients – and hopefully you won’t feel too guilty about the dose of comfort-food after a nice long ride!
One thing to note: this recipe makes enough soup to feed a small town, so you may want to consider halving it to get a quantity more suited for 4 people. I always make plenty, and the boys around here manage to never let the leftovers go to waste.
“Bicycle” Broccoli-Cheddar Chowder
(tastes extra delicious after a long ride on a cold day!)
3/4 C onion, finely chopped
1/2 C carrot, grated
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
butter or oil (scant, to saute vegetables)
6 C vegetable broth (may substitute chicken broth, as desired)
1 tsp salt
3 C potatoes, small dice (I prefer small redskinned “new potatoes”, leaving skins on, but you can substitute other peeled potatoes)
3 C broccoli, lightly steamed and coarsely chopped (can substitute frozen chopped broccoli)
1/2 C butter
3/4 C flour
5 C milk
2 C good cheddar cheese, shredded
Sautee onion, carrot and celery in small amt. of butter or oil, until onion is translucent. Set aside. In large heavy covered stockpot, heat vegetable broth and potatoes, and bring to a slow boil. Stir in onion/celery/carrots and cook over medium heat until potatoes just become tender. Stir in chopped broccoli and let simmer on low.
Meanwhile, in separate large saucepan, melt the 1/2 C butter and add, stirring, the 3/4 C flour. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until bubbly and golden. To this, stir in milk and bring to almost boiling, stirring continually until smooth and thickened. Turn head to low, add shredded cheese, and continue to stir over low heat until cheese is melted and incorporated.
Carefully pour the cheese mixture into the large stockpot (with broccoli & vegetables), stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, uncovered, over low/medium heat until soup reaches desired consistency (it will continue to thicken).
Serve with a simple tossed salad, and crusty bread. (After a long bike ride!) Enjoy!