Awesome restaurant quality cheesy broccoli soup
I absolutely adore a good bowl of soup on a cold day. I have sometimes gone weeks where I’ve had a cup or bowl of soup every single day during the winter months in Chicago. That was mostly when I still worked downtown though, and I was forced to walk through the bitter cold. After walking outside in the windy city on a January day, you need a hot bowl of soup for lunch…trust me.
On the menu today is a cheesy broccoli soup and freshly baked rosemary olive oil bread. The soup is a simple and quick recipe that doesn’t require much prep work, which is nice for busy mom’s and people who don’t have a lot of spare time for cooking. I used a bag of frozen chopped broccoli…but fresh broccoli would work too, one pound of Velveeta cheese cut up into cubes, a 10 oz can of cream of celery soup, a cup of chicken broth…but feel free to use vegetable broth if you prefer, a half cup of heavy whipping cream, and salt and pepper to taste. The original recipe doesn’t call for the heavy whipping cream, but I add it because it makes the soup nice and creamy. You can also use whole milk instead of heavy whipping cream and it will still make the soup thicker and creamier.
I use some cooking spray to cover the inside of my crockpot, then I just put all the ingredients in and mix together. I cooked it on high heat for 3-4 hours. You can also do it on low heat for 5-6 hours. Since I was home, I stirred it occasionally to make sure everything was mixed up the way I wanted, and tasted it to make sure it was properly seasoned. Once you take it off the heat and let it sit for awhile, it will thicken up some more.
I wanted to serve the soup with a good quality bread, so I decided to bake a rosemary olive oil artisan bread. No, I didn’t make it from scratch, although this bread tastes like you made it from scratch because it’s that good. I had a take & bake bread made by LaBrea Bakery. It’s basically a frozen loaf of bread/dough that you put on a cookie sheet and pop in your oven for 10-12 minutes. It comes out crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside. The only way I can describe it is if you were to get a soup bowl from Panera Bread or Au Bon Pain (or a similar place). You know how the outside of the bowl is kind of hard and crispy, but the inside of the bowl has nice, soft bread? This bread is the same concept when it comes out of the oven. It’s warm and delicious. A perfect companion for soup.
There was enough soup for me, my husband, my daughter, and my mom to eat…and we still have some left over for tomorrow. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about the bread. It didn’t stand a chance in this house. We definitely enjoy our carbs around here. My husband, who loves a good bowl of soup, told me the soup was awesome. He said if he was in a restaurant and had that soup, he would be wow’d. He was quite impressed that I made it. I think that was a compliment. 🙂
Since I used chopped broccoli and didn’t puree it, I made sure my daughter didn’t get any big pieces of broccoli when I fed it to her. She doesn’t completely grasp the concept of chewing all her food yet, so better safe than sorry. Kayla had some fresh fruit to go with her meal, but the rest of us simply had soup and bread. With the bread, it was quite filling.
Now I have to think of my next recipe to “wow” my husband.
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