Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

This soup is enough to convert anyone from Panera Bread to home cooking! This thick, creamy, and wonderfully complex soup is easy to make, and who isn’t impressed by a home made bread bowl?  The smoked gouda adds a rich flavor to the broth and highlights the vegetable flavors.  I created this soup based on an old 5 ingredient slow cooker recipe, which my Mom gave to me when I first started cooking!
Ingredients:

3/4 stick of butter
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups half and half
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 bay leaves
1 bag of shredded carrots

2 bags of broccoli and caulifower mix (or about 6 cups)
8 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
4oz Applewood smoked gouda
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bread Bowls (I used a Mini French Boule)

Begin by chopping the onions and mincing the garlic. It is easy to achieve perfectly even chopped onion pieces by first cutting the onions horizontally and vertically, before turning on it’s side to make the final chop.
Cook the butter, onion, and garlic with some salt and pepper on medium heat until tender, for about 10 minutes.
Add the half and half and chicken stock slowly into the pot.
Whisk the corn starch, which will act as a thickening agent, with a little bit of water until there are no clumps and add it to the rest.
Add the nutmeg and bay leaves and cook on medium low until thickened.
Break down your broccoli and cauliflower by making sure each piece is bite sized (it has to fit on a soup spoon!) and discard the tough stems.
Give the shredded carrots a rough chop.


aAdd the carrot, cauliflower, and broccoli and simmer until tender. Discard the bay leaves.

Once the vegetables are cooked to perfection, remove 3 cups of the soup and puree in a blender.  Add this back into the pot to create the desired texture of this soup.
Finally, Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bread bowls!
To make the Bread bowls, Toast one french boule in the oven until lightly toasted.  I used the lowest setting on my oven and left the boule in for 7 minutes.
Once it has toasted, cut a top out of the bread by holding the knife on a 45 degree angle, very similar to carving a jack o lantern.

Remove the soft bread inside the loaf to hollow out your bread bowl.

Add soup, and serve!  Fantastic!
-Chef Hallie

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