To tell the truth, I really didn’t feel like cooking today. Getting up this morning to a chilly breeze and frost everywhere didn’t help with my motivation either. In fact, all I really wanted to do was just curl up back in bed and stay there, where it was nice and warm under the down comforter. That feeling carried through the entire day too. I was just dragging all day. Do you ever have those days? They are rough for sure.
So dinner was to be simple tonight. Simple, and comforting. Mmmm broccoli and cheese. You can’t get much more comforting than broccoli and cheese together. In fact, the mere idea of enjoying a bowl of cheesy broccoli soup was enough motivation to get me through the day and get everything done that I needed to.
I’m not going to go through a long introduction for this one – cheesy broccoli soup needs no fancy remarks. But this soup, like so many of my favorite comfort foods, touches more than the taste buds. It transports one to a place of calm and happiness, erases all one’s cares and worries, if for only a brief few minutes. Though I must say that a smoked cheddar is awesome in this soup. Definitely splurge for the smoked cheddar rather than plain if you are thinking about making this soup, it makes a world of difference, and then it blends really well with the nutmeg and paprika that I added in. Oh, and this is super filling. Which is a good thing!
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets.
4 c. veggie broth
12 oz. grated smoked cheddar cheese
1 c. heavy cream
2 tbs. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbs. water
1. Heat up a pot and saute shallots and garlic in butter until translucent and fragrant. Add in spices.
2. Add broth and broccoli to pot, and bring to a boil. Then turn down to a simmer and let simmer until broccoli are well-cooked and soft (about 15 min).
3. Slowly add cheese, one handful at a time, and continue stirring. Turn heat down a bit more so that soup remains hot (steaming) but does not come back to a boil (that will risk the cheese getting clumpy). Once all incorporated, while stirring, add in the heavy cream and then the cornstarch.
4. Serve in bowls and granish with blanched broccoli florets if you like. Goes really well with some bread too.
Photography Note – Now that we have “fallen back” an hour, daylight has become a rare commodity. On top of that, living with my family these few months means I have no space to set up a place for pictures – no designated table, no reflectors, no place to put up my own lighting if I purchased any. This is the best I could do using all fluorescent lighting in our kitchen. When I use the incandescent light over the stove (which gives better color than fluorescent) everything comes out so shiny that it really looks no good. So I chose more diffuse fluorescent over more direct incandescent. Was this the right choice to make? Ha or maybe the right choice is to make lunch instead of dinner so it’s still daylight out…