Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Surprise!! This soup has broccoli AND cauliflower in it.  I have tricked you.

So, this past winter, I changed my relationship status with soup.  I don’t know if the soup family knows it, but I’m just using it.  Using it for delicious/nutritious food that I can have at work every day.  Although, I feel like I got what I deserved when a coworker, while looking for me in the building, said, “I thought I’d find you near the microwave, with your soup.”  I didn’t have soup that day.  Hahaha.  Anyway.

First, please have a blender of some sort on hand.  Cooking this recipe takes some time commitment, but I think that just makes it a perfect Sunday afternoon recipe.  It makes your kitchen smell like an Italian trattoria, which I find to be a great thing.   Plus, doing the final touches is somewhat mesmerizing.

Do you want a fun cheese fact?? Because I learned one the first time I made this recipe.   Here it goes:
I thought white cheddar would look better than yellow cheddar, but I only had yellow on hand and it was raining and laziness took hold.  So, as the soup cooked, I learned that the ONLY difference between yellow and white cheddar is a flower part that is added to yellow, just because. No reason at all. Funny, huh? So there’s no reason for white cheddar to be more expensive than yellow.   OK. Tangent over; let’s make a soup.

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Ingredients:
1 head broccoli or 1/2 bag frozen broccoli
1 head cauliflower or 1 bag frozen cauliflower
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup whole milk
4oz grated cheddar cheese, preferably Sharp White
olive oil, for drizzling

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Directions
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Distribute the cauliflower and broccoli evenly around the sheet (I recommend putting all the broccoli on one side and the cauliflower on the other side – sometimes one needs longer to cook than the other).   Drizzle the pan with olive oil and a healthy amount of salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes, or until both veggies are fork-tender, flipping once halfway through.  Set that aside.

Drizzle some more olive oil into a dutch oven or soup pot.  Sauté the onion briefly with a pinch of salt and pepper if you prefer, until it becomes just a little translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté one minute.  Add the veggie stock, broccoli and cauliflower.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

Turn the heat off and grab your blender.  Reserve about 6-8 florets each of the broccoli and cauliflower for later.  Begin to ladle the contents of your pot into the blender.  Alternate a few ladlefuls more and blend in short bursts until consistent.  Do this until all of your soup has been blended, aside from the reserved florets.  NOTE: the steam generated in the blender can both burn you and pop the lid off your blender!  Return the blended soup to the pot and turn the heat on low.

Add your reserved florets and milk to the soup, stirring to incorporate evenly.  Then, add the cheese a handful at a time and stir until it’s consistent.   Garnish with some toasted bread, parsley, and/or cracked pepper and cheese.  Enjoy!

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