Broccoli Cheddar Soup

by Kris on November 7, 2011

Broccoli and Cheddar soup has a very special place in my heart. I was a vegetarian in high school and many of my friends, including my dear friend Marissa, decided to try vegetarianism as well.

One cold fall day I visited Marissa at Quizno’s, her short lived high school employer. When her shift ended we feasted on two abnormally large bowls of cheddar broccoli soup. Nothing cut the cold like this creamy meal and when we arrived back at her place we raved about it to her mom, Mary.

I spent the night at Marissa’s and in the morning we were greeted by a familiar smell and a cheery mom. When we came upstairs there was a cauldron of soup on the stove. We peeked inside and it was full of cheddar broccoli soup!

Unbeknownst to us, Mary had woken up early, ran to the grocery store, and spent her morning cooking us the soup we had raved about the night before. We grabbed some bowls and experienced the best soup that had ever graced this earth. I asked her where she found the recipe and she laughed. She had no recipe, she made it from scratch off the top of her head. Marissa and I were incredibly impressed by her mother’s skill. From that day on we completely dismissed Quizno’s soup as it could never hold a candle to her mom’s secret recipe.

That day inspired me. It inspired me to not only cook, but to use my creativity in everything I do. Not to follow someone else’s direction but to do things in my own way. When you have the courage to pave your own path greatness will surely follow.

Mary passed away from cancer almost two years ago. She was a woman full of joy, laughter and kindness. Her door was always open and she was always willing to help in any way she could. I am incredibly thankful for knowing her as she inspired me in more ways than she will ever know. Most importantly she gave me a friend who has been there for me through thick and thin. A friend who I consider family.

2 Tbsp. salted butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 Tsp. ground mustard
1 Tsp. dried thyme
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup baby spinach
10 oz 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté shallots and onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute.

Add broccoli, celery, spinach and potatoes. Sprinkle with mustard and thyme. Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes.

Pour chicken stock over vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 40-60 minutes.

In batches puree the soup in a blender. Return soup to pot and stir in shredded cheese.

Slowly whisk in milk and return to a simmer for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

This makes about 8 servings, but it also freezes really well!

Enjoy

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Marissa November 7, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Perfect way to honour this delicious recipe and the awesome woman behind it. She would have been so touched to know she inspired you so much and even more proud of what an incredible cook you’ve become.

Can’t thank you enough for this munchkin.

Love and hugs from C-land

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Anna November 8, 2011 at 6:27 am

I am sure Mary will be glad that a lot of people are enjoying her recipe (yeah right! you mentioned there was no recipe to start with…) Her soup will be witness to families eating dinner together, friends sharing conversations with each other and a lot more people just enjoying broccoli and cheddar. Thanks Mary! My family will truly enjoy this too…

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hennacornoelidaysnne January 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

Thanks for this yummy receipe! I’m going to try to make the soup stock today…..I’ve never tried that before…just throwing in vegetables in a pot to simmer for soup. I so enjoy your pictures and stories. Thanks from Chicago!

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Rachel (teacher-chef) March 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thanks for a heartfelt story and the delicious recipe you created to go along with it. This soup was delicious to start a Steak & Potatoes meal and I’m very much looking forward to the leftovers for lunch this week as well as maybe with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich too :-)

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Helen March 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm

This soup is delicious! Had a great time making it with my girls (Marissa and Christine) last night. Made a double batch, one for us, one for Marissa. Amazing, and so easy. The recipe may be called brocolli cheddar soup, but it will always be Mary’s soup to me. Thank you.

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Kris March 19, 2012 at 10:29 am

I’m so glad you guys made it together. :)

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Marissa March 16, 2012 at 10:48 am

Had such an amazing time making this recipe on the weekend with my 2nd mom and my best friend. And have been enjoying it all week with another half batch still in the freezer! Love the idea of enjoying it with a grilled cheese. Mom would be so proud of your efforts. Not just with the recipe, but with managing to get her daughter to make soup from scratch :P

Can’t wait to try my next recipe for Munchin with Munckin day (I’ve deemed Sundays my Munchin with Munckin recipe day).

Love you so much!!
Marissa

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Kris March 19, 2012 at 9:44 am

I’m so happy you made the soup and I got you in the kitchen! :) Love you girl.

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