Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Battle of the Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I have made a few repeat this week but I also waged quite the battle of the soup in my house. In my eyes there is a hands down can be the judge.
First Up

We have the Copy Cat recipe from Food Network Magazine
Almost Famous-Broccoli Cheddar Soup


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish


Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you'll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)

Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.

** I didnt serve in a breadbowl, so maybe that might have affected my results, but I dont think so :)

Next Up we have a Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Cooking Light
Low-Fat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  1. Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.
  2. Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
  3. Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan and serve.
Hands down the winner is the Cooking Light Broccoli Cheddar. I love the Panera Soup in the actual store and this didnt taste that much like it. It also was VERY heavy. With the half an half and the butter it really just laid in my belly and I kind of felt yucky after eating it. Its always a bad sign when you refrigerate something and it becomes really thick and block like. You know then there is too much fat in whatever it is you are about to eat. For me it wasnt worth the abundance of calories at all. Give me a big piece of chocolate cake instead. The cooking light recipe was easier, healthier, used less ingredients, and tasted like broccoli not cream. I really enjoyed it and forget how easy it can be to make. Mia even really liked it too. I have devoured the leftovers so in a knockdown fight cooking light is the winner!

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