I love a good soup or stoup (thick stewy soup). They warm all your chilly bits and paired with some crusty bread and a salad make for a great meal for those frosty days.
After a recent jaunt to Costco where I bought a huge bag of broccoli I decided to make a soup featuring a veggie that will not only nourish my family but will, in fact, torment my children. They go on roller coasters, walk close to ledges in nearby gorges and cliffs yet continue to be afraid of broccoli. I know, right? To offset their immediate protest I thought I'd distract them from the 'green trees of yick' with some cheese and bacon. It's the bait and distract method of feeding children.
This is a cheesy, delicious and filling soup that is not only great the first time around but wonderful for leftovers. It's filled with veggies, a generous amount of cheese and some bacon for that smokey flavah! It's reminds me of a cross between my Creamy Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup and my Cheeseburger Soup
Inspired by: Mel's Kitchen Cafe's Loaded Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup
6 bacon strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups of chicken broth
3 cups potatoes - peeled and diced small
1 small onion - diced
3/4 cup carrots - peeled and grated
3 cups broccoli - small florets
2 tbsp reserved bacon grease (or butter)
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
3 cups milk ( I used 1%)
2 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese - grated
In a deep frying pan (or saucepan), cook bacon and garlic until the bacon is fairly crispy. Remove bacon strips to paper towel and crumble. Set aside.
In a soup pot, combine the chicken broth, potatoes and onion. Bring this mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for approximately 8 minutes until the potatoes start to become tender. Add grated carrot and broccoli florets and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Drain all but 2 tbsp of the bacon grease from the frying pan (or use another saucepan with 2 tbsp of butter). Heat grease over medium heat; add flour and cook for 1 minute or until mixture becomes golden in colour. Add salt, pepper and dry mustard. Mix well. Slowly add the milk as you mix with a whisk. Continue to cook for approximately 8 minutes or until mixture thickens, ensuring that you stir often.
Add the Cheddar cheese to the milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted. Gradually add the cheese mixture to the broth/veggie mixture. Stir until well combined. Add reserved crumbled bacon (you can save some to garnish on top of each bowl). Serve with a green salad and fresh bread.
Side Dishes that work well with this recipe:
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Olive Garden-esque Garlicky Bread Sticks