Friday, February 19, 2010

Cheddar Broccoli Chowder - as good as your favorite restaurant soup...

Unlike many broccoli cheese soups - this “chowder” is silky-smooth and creamy - with no curdling or separating.  It’s so simple to assemble quickly, and impossible to “ruin” from lack of attention on a busy day.  Sprinkled with a little cheddar (or even crumbled bacon) - this feels like a main dish soup. 

Whenever I order from a restaurant menu, and I know they are going to ask me what kind of soup I would like - I silently hope they have Broccoli Cheese on the list.  I don’t think I’m alone there - almost everyone I go with asks for it also.  Well - this recipe is head & shoulders above the best restaurant soup you’ve ever had.

If you have half an hour till dinnertime, it’s cold outside, and you haven’t come close to the recommended servings of vegetables by the end of the day - this is the right thing to serve tonight. 

Have you ever felt a little shortchanged when a recipe was TOO easy?  I realize I’m obsessive/compulsive when it comes to cooking - that’s a given.  But, I’ve always believed that the amount of effort you put in should equal how amazing things turn out.  So - this recipe doesn’t fit that theory.

This calls for “Cheese Whiz” - which is the costliest ingredient.  Keep in mind that most major grocery chains  (Smith’s, Kroger, etc...) usually have their own private label for a significant cost savings.  And yes - I know the butter and processed cheese products are loaded with fat and short on nutrition.  But I call it a wash when I cancel that out with good helpings of fresh carrots & broccoli.  

When my children were small, they loved “helping” with this soup. Their favorite part was unwrapping the bouillon cubes (then licking their salty fingers)  Now I get to tediously unwrap those little beasts by myself.

I love this sprinkled with grated cheese.  It’s also great with homemade biscuits or bread, as well as any type of cracker.   When I make this for myself alone - I half the recipe, and I never feel that I'm eating "leftovers" when I have it day after day.  It keeps well in the refrigerator for over a week.

For the recipe and step-by-step photo instructions - go to:

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