Thankfully, this soup-hate didn't last very long. Especially once I came across this recipe in a recent Food Network magazine. It was, quite possibly, the best broccoli cheddar soup I've ever had (sorry, former employer).
I decided to skip the blender portion of the recipe since I a) like cooked broccoli and b) like chunky soups. We also skipped the bread bowls and just ate some French bread on the side.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
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6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1 large carrot, diced
2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
Place a large stockpot or Dutch oven on the stovetop. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the onions and saute until they are tender. Add the flour into the pot and whisk until mixture is golden browned. Pour in the half-and-half and whisk until smooth Stir in the chicken broth, nutmeg, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, then lower to low heat and cook for about 20 minutes, or until thickened.
Add the carrots and broccoli into the soup and simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add the cheese into the pot and stir until melted. Add water until soup is desired consistancy (I didn't add any) and serve!
Source: Food Network magazine