Per Serving: $0.97
It is finally time for soups again! YES! Also, new goal: start the rest of my posts about something other than the weather.
But seriously, it's time for cozy sweaters and sweatshirts and soups and tea and mini space heaters and the best-ever hot chocolate. I'm really ready for it.
I'm also really ready for this soup. Which I made and LOVED last winter. And then found in the freezer months later and loved it again. It's your basic broccoli-cheddar soup, but with kale and cauliflower added, and cream removed. It's not the same gloppy stuff you get from Panera (which is completely delicious), because there's no flour roux or normal fancy stuff, but it is packed with vegetables and just enough fancy cheddar cheese to feel a little indulgent.
Not sure what cheese to pick? I go with either Kerrygold Dubliner or Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar. Neither is organic, but KerryGold is pastured. If you have a favorite cheddar cheese, go with it, but I highly recommend something sharp!Or toss in some Parmesan for another flavor dimension. Either way, you should definitely prepare to make this soup all winter. Cauliflower, broccoli, and kale will be pretty cheap in the next few months, and this stuff is possibly even better after being frozen. This is also a great way to use up those annoying ever-present vegetables like fennel!Print
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small-medium bulb fennel (or small-medium onion)
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups cauliflower
- 6 cups broccoli
- 2 cups kale
- 4 cups vegetable broth (homemade recommended)
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
- pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Slice and dice fennel (or onion), then add both olive oil and fennel to the pot. Sauté for about 6 minutes, or until soft and fragrant, add minced garlic and saute another minute together.
- Meanwhile, in a separate pot, bring the water and vegetable broth to a boil.
- Chop all the cauliflower and the stems of the broccoli into chunks, then add them to the fennel and garlic. (Keep broccoli florets separate.) Add the salt, and the hot broth and water as well.
- Return to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 6 minutes, or until cauliflower and broccoli stems are somewhat soft, then add the broccoli florets and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, or until they’re also soft and bright green, but not mushy and discolored.
- Meanwhile, pull the kale leaves from the stems (discard), and roughly chop. Place in blender.
- When all the vegetables are nice and soft, remove from heat. Scoop about 1-2 cups of liquid from the pot and add to blender with the kale. Blend on high for about 1 minute, or until the kale is pureed completely. Then add more soup and vegetables to blender, and blend in batches until smooth. (I always have to use a second pot for the already blended vegetables.)
- Return soup to pot and mix in cheddar, warm until the cheese melts and season with freshly ground black pepper, salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes.
- Notes: Feel free to blanch the kale first if you want to make sure it is cooked, but I find it unnecessary. Either way, be sure to blend the kale with liquid first if you have a basic blender. Otherwise, you will end up with larger bits of kale since it doesn’t blend super well.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Soup