Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

File this one under “tons of flavor in less than 20 minutes.” Also file it under “food for when you’re pretending it’s snowing,” because that’s what I did yesterday. It’s been something like 300 days since Chicago has had any measurable snowfall, and despite a snow-optimistic forecast, it’s just not happening for us. I woke up Friday morning to a depressingly still-green backyard, and it’s hard to feel Christmasy with such balmy weather. Global climate change is really throwing a wrench into my Christmas spirit! So I made this tasty, toasty dish for lunch, and I’m crossing my fingers we’ll get a white Christmas in the next few days. Until then, broccoli cheddar soup is a good distraction.

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INGREDIENTS

olive oil
butter
1 tsp all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups stock (I used leftover beef stock)
salt and pepper
pinch of nutmeg
a few handfuls of broccoli (I had some leftover cauliflower so I threw that in too)
about 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (don’t measure. Just add as much as you want.)

DIRECTIONS

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat a splash of olive oil and a bit of butter and add the flour, stirring constantly. Cook about a minute, then add the garlic and cook another minute.  Pour in the half and half, stock, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

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Bring to a low boil and add the broccoli. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender.

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Remove from heat and pour into a food processor or blender. Add the cheese and blitz to your liking.

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Serve with bread and butter and cross your fingers it will snow before Christmas.

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