Broccoli Cheese Soup – once a cheesehead, always a cheesehead

A few months before our wedding, my husband transferred to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for his job. This meant I would finish out my last few years of college in Wisconsin and it also meant, I would soon be a cheesehead. I was excited to move to Milwaukee right after the wedding, but it was a whirlwind of craziness. Within two busy weeks, I was finishing finals and moving out of a dorm room, finishing up last-minute wedding items back home and packing up stuff to take up to our new apartment in Milwaukee, (squeezing in a few furniture facelift projects on a few pieces before shoving them on the back of a trailer), then we had our wedding and drove up to Milwaukee with both vehicles filled to the brim the next day, packed our suitcases and left on a plane that night for our honeymoon on the beach. Man O Man! It was a hectic time, but exciting time and everything worked out. It was our first time moving out of our home state and Milwaukee was a big city compared to the cornfields and small towns where we both grew up. We included string cheese as a snack for our wedding guests, with a note attached that read “Not only are we newlyweds, we’re also Wisconsin Cheeseheads!” My friend found a picture in a magazine of a wedding cake made out of cheese. She framed it and gave it to me and we included it as a little joke on the gift table. It was a fun few years living in Wisconsin and I think my love of cheese grew even more.  Our cheese drawer is always armed and ready. I laughed one day when I could hardly close it and decided I would share a picture with you so you know exactly what I’m trying to describe.

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I kind of begin to panic if I’m down to my last bags of shredded sharp cheddar and colby jack. Then there’s the shredded mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, cream cheese and there’s always a log or two of goat cheese to be found in there. I need at least four types of sliced cheese for sandwiches. Those panini love a good provolone combined with cheddar, but my burgers favor a good slice of pepper jack. I like variety 😀 And just because it’s not “natural” or made of the real stuff, I tend to keep a block of Velveeta or Aldi brand processed cheese on hand too. It’s great for queso dips, and also for making this soup. I’ve made broccoli cheese soup from scratch the “au natural” way before with a roux and this recipe below is way better, in my opinion. It has that smooth, creamy consistency that is sometimes hard to achieve with a roux. And it keeps and reheats beautifully. There’s no separation, there’s no grittiness, it’s just perfect. I did not create this recipe. It’s one direct from The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond). She’s pretty much my ultimate idol in the kitchen and on the blog. I don’t think I’ve ever made any recipe of her’s that I didn’t love. This recipe is no exception. I only made minor changes and you can see them as you compare with the original recipe in the link. One thing I do differently is I make this soup on the stove top in my large heavy pot. I haven’t needed to throw it in the crock pot and walk a way. I’m sure it will turn out great in the crock pot, as Ree makes it that way. I think she’s kind of like Rumpelstiltskin: everything she touches in the kitchen tastes amazing!

You can find the Pioneer Woman’s Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe here.

Here’s how I make my version:

First, I chop the carrots and onion.

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I also chop up my broccoli. I use fresh, but you could also use frozen as the Pioneer Woman’s recipe calls for.

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Then I sauté the diced onion in a little olive oil in a large pot.

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Add in the carrots and garlic continue to cook for a few minutes.

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Then I add in the chicken broth and then the cream of celery soup.

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Then I add in the cubed Velveeta cheese (about half a block) and then add in plenty of shredded cheddar and colby jack cheese.

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Add in the chopped broccoli.

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Then I add in some milk.

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Season with some Salt and Pepper and a little garlic powder.

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Let it all come together and be merry. You could serve it like this,

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. . . or use a handy-dandy immersion blender and blend it all up as much as you like.

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My stomach is growling just looking at that picture. It’s cold and rainy outside which isn’t helping.

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Blended or unblended, this soup is great and you really can’t mess it up.

Enjoy!

 

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • Servings: 4-4 1/2 quarts
  • Print

Ingredients

2 TBS olive oil or butter

1 large onion – diced

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 C carrots – diced (about 2 large carrots)

4 C fresh broccoli – chopped

2 cans cream of celery soup

4 C low sodium chicken broth

2 C milk

16 oz of Velveeta type cheese (about half a block) – cubed

2 C grated cheddar cheese

1 C grated colby jack or monterey jack cheese

1/4 teas garlic powder

Black pepper and salt to taste

 

Directions:

Wash and chop the onion, garlic, carrots, and broccoli.

Sauté the onion in the olive oil or butter in a large pot until onion is becoming translucent.

Add in the carrots and garlic.

Pour in the chicken broth.

Add in the cream of celery soup.

Add in the cubed Velveeta cheese, shredded cheese and keep on medium – low heat until cheese is all melted.

Slowly add in the chopped broccoli.

Pour in the milk.

Season with salt and pepper and garlic powder.

Let this simmer on low until carrots are tender and all cheese is melding together.

Serve like this, or use immersion blender to blend to your liking.

 

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