Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

| March 17, 2011 | 23 Comments

potato broccoli cheddar soup

Earlier this week, a farm in our town started their preliminary work for the growing season. They begin by readying their greenhouse and planting seeds for their crops (and they sell some of the started plants too). In a month or so, the first crops will be planted in the fields, and their garden center will be hopping with hopeful people with fanciful dreams of amazing gardens.

As I look outside at our disheveled gardens, I am struck with how much work will have to happen before we can grow anything this year. Rocks from our gravel driveway were pushed far onto our lawn this winter. They need to be moved back again. Leaves, long forgotten under the snow, wait to be raked up and moved to our compost pile. My fenced garden of raised beds for growing veggies needs to be cleaned up, fertilized and planned. And will this be the year that I turn the grassy paths in it to gravel ones? I’m not sure.

And all this has to happen fast — between rainy days and chilly winds — so that it’s all picked up before the first blades of grass and rapidly growing weeds start appearing. It’s a race against Mother Nature, and I’m cold and sore just thinking of it.

I never really thought much about growing seasons and yard prep and all that until I had kids. It’s amazing how those sweet little people can make you so much more mindful about everything — where your food comes from, how you eat and living kindly with nature.

While I am in the beginning stages of planning for spring, it’s still soup season. And heck, when it’s cold like it still is (even on lovely sunny days like today), soup is just about the best thing ever — warm, comforting and belly-filling.

This Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a perfect late winter soup. It’s creamy, though it contains no cream, and flavorful, though the ingredients list is relatively short and simple. One of the greatest discoveries I ever made about soup making was that pureeing potatoes in a soup can give it that lovely creamy texture without the added fat of stirring in heavy cream.

The flavor reminds me of a broccoli and cheddar baked potato (which is especially good if you love broccoli … and broccoli and cheddar baked potatoes … like I do), except it’s in a comforting, warm soup.

potato broccoli cheddar soup

Here I’ve topped it with some chopped roasted red peppers and Westminster Oyster Crackers. The cool, sweet peppers and crunchy, almost buttery crackers are a fabulous compliment to the soup.

A few months back, I received a box of these crackers in the mail, and was instantly smitten. Oyster crackers and I have a long relationship, dating back to my days in Catholic elementary school. I used to sneak them during band practice (I played the clarinet. Poorly. Um, yea. Might have helped if I didn’t eat during practice, I suppose).

So, these Westminster Oyster Crackers. They impressed me. First, there was the flavor and texture — an almost buttery flavor, and a satisfying puffy crunch. Then there was the ingredients list, which is simple and 100 percent pronounceable. They contain ingredients I have not only heard of, but own! So, we’ve been munching on these for a few months now — as snacks, in soups, etc. The kids love taking them for snack time at school.

It’s still chilly here, so this soup is perfect. With the crackers and roasted red peppers, of course.

Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb broccoli, cut into 1" pieces (including the stem!)
4 cups low sodium (or no salt) chicken stock
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown.
  2. Stir the potatoes and broccoli into the pot and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and stir it all up. Cover and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat (or until the broccoli and potatoes are tender).
  3. Remove the soup from the heat, and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it's mostly smooth (a few chunks are a good thing). Stir in the cheddar a little at a time, until melted. Taste and salt and pepper, as needed.
  4. Serve immediately.

Notes

NOTE: The soup thickens as it cools, so if you have leftovers add a little extra chicken stock or broth to the soup when reheating for a looser consistency.

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westminstergiveaway 2

Giveaway!

Entries Closed. Congrats to Jacquie, the winner of the prize pack!

Westminster Crackers was kind enough to offer a fabulous prize pack for one of my readers. Seriously, I am jealous — it’s really awesome, and would be a great addition to any soup lover’s kitchen.

DISCLOSURE: Westminster Crackers provided me with samples of their crackers. They are also providing the prize pack. I was not monetarily compensated for this post, and receiving the samples and prize pack didn’t influence my opinions in anyway.

Category: potatoes, Recipes, soup, Stuff

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in countless online and print publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Connecticut with her two kids, two beagles and husband.

Comments (23)

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  1. Melissa says:

    I love soup in general, but I think my absolute favorite has to be french onion!

  2. Melissa says:

    I also just gave you a thumbs up on Babble!

  3. Tricia says:

    My newest favorite is an Italian sausage with tortilini and loads of vegetables….you put grated parm on when you serve.

  4. Kathryn says:

    My favorite soup is a simple spinch soup by eating well, just potatoes, spinach, broth, and rosemary with an optional rosemary sourdough toasted bread on top.

  5. Valerie says:

    Potato Cheddar

  6. Rachel says:

    I am a sucker for super creamy soups (New England Clam Chowder, please!), but in terms of soup I can actually eat on a regular basis and not feel bad? Definitely butternut squash soup! Love it!

  7. Jen says:

    I absolutely love a good French onion soup, with tons of cheese and a crispy crouton. Yuuummmm!

  8. Kate says:

    I always call these kind of soups “stuffed potato soups” because they’re filled with things I love in my baked potatoes.

  9. Stephanie says:

    I am a loaded baked potato soup-aholic. I’m pregnant and it’s one of the things I’ve been craving on a daily basis!

  10. Allison says:

    I started my spring planting last weekend. I spent all day and got such little done. It takes such a long time BUT every time I walk up my front walk and see the new little greens poking through the fresh soil it gives me the excitement of spring coming. I really love all soup but, my favorite it fresh tomato basil with a puff pastry on top.

  11. diane campbell says:

    French onion with baguett bread and provolone cheese. Of course it has to be put under broiler to get it just right!!!

  12. Daryl Callahan says:

    My favorite soup is sweet potato soup.

  13. Daryl Callahan says:

    I have tweeted about contest i am Dthern
    Awesome prize @SarahWCaron esp if u r In LOVE with the soup crocks. http://bit.ly/h4RdFj

  14. Daryl Callahan says:

    I already like you on Facebook. You have a wonderful blog.

  15. Joanne says:

    So, the good thing about all this is all the exercise you’ll get from putting the garden back in place! (Silver lining!!!)

    While I’ve been really lukewarm about soup in the past, I really came to love it this year. My favorite soup that I’ve made was a spicy tomato soup with blue cheese mixed in. Super simple, but super delicious.

    I grew up on oyster crackers and I couldn’t think of a better way to eat them than with this delicious soup of yours! Stick to your ribs good.

  16. Hailey W. says:

    My favorite soup is french onion, its so good on a cold day! :) love love love.

  17. Becky says:

    My abosolute favorite is lobster bisque, hands down. A crab bisque will do in a pinch, but lobster is always better!

  18. jacquie says:

    ooh i am envious – i can’t find those crackers in the store anymore and i just love them…..

    favorite soup – lentil

  19. jessie says:

    French onion is always yummy!

  20. jessie says:

    I gave you a thumbs up!

  21. aubreylaine says:

    My fave soup is Broccoli Cheddar.
    aubreyfick@yahoo.com

  22. aubreylaine says:

    I like you on Facebook
    aubreyfick@yahoo.com

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