We had our first Fall-like day yesterday. I actually had to pull out a long sleeved shirt, for myself, and a jacket for Daisy. Sad day.
To warm us up, I made Broccoli Cheddar soup… FROM SCRATCH. There may be a domestic goddess in me yet. 😉 This probably isn’t a big accomplishment for most people, but trust me, I’ve always been kind of clueless when it comes to this house-wife-mom thing. Our first apartment looked like a bachelor pad- and I’m pretty sure my husband and I lived off frozen pizza, beer and take-out the whole first year. Not to mention the many clothes I dyed or ruined in the washing machine. Really, I’m no where close to that bad now. I make a lot of yummy fish and lots of greek salads. I’m getting pretty awesome at laundry and found my fav detergent and know how to dry clothes where they’re soft without fabirc softener. Oh yeah. But seriosuly, I’m just not naturally wired to be ordered and conventional. I’ve always had my head in the clouds a bit- and been more about tattoos, art and being free spirited- but hey, it’s why my husband loves me.
But because I love HIM, and I’m about to be the mother of TWO, I’ve been working really hard at being a better home-maker. The thought used to make me cringe, but when I think about it, I WANT my husband and kids to be excited for the meals I make and always have their clothes smelling extra great. (Those two things just scream “MOM” don’t they?) Naturally, I’ve always been lost at cooking. Not so much that I’m a bad cook, I just don’t know what to make. A few ingredients have always scared me. Anything with flour or any kind of broth or stock intimidates me. (I’m crazy. I know.)
However, with the help of my new obsession, Pintrest, I’ve found 100’s of new recipes and I’ve been so inspired to make delicious things. I’ve always been IN LOVE with Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup. It’s pretty expensive for a bowl of soup and I can’t afford it often. So when I found this recipe I was pretty excited. EVEN though it had flour AND stock in it.. I decided to face my fear and do it… And oh my gosh it was SO good! If you’d put it in a bread bowl I’d never have known it wasn’t from panera.
PANERA BROCC CHEDDAR SOUP
1/4 cup butter (I used a soy butter spread, tastes the same)
1/2 chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup flour
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrot, shredded and chopped (I had baby carrots I just finely chopped)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom (I didn’t use this because I didn’t have it and didn’t want to buy it lol)
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces grated Colby jack cheese (I used a mix of colby jack and monterey jack)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the onion (and garlic) in the butter over medium heat. Remove the onions (you can actually leave the onions in there- I did.) and add in the flour, stirring constantly. Add in the half and half, milk, and chicken stock. Bring to almost a boil.
Add the onions back in, along with the broccoli and carrots. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
Season the soup with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom. Stir in the cheeses (and you can play around with the amounts; use however much or little you like) and let simmer for 10 minutes longer before serving.
It was DELICIOUSLY perfect for a chilly day. It made about 4 servings but next time I’ll double it so we can have leftovers for lunches (yeah we were hungry- we ate it all lol) I was a little over eager and burnt my tongue. I also had a melt down because I left the half and half at my mom’s house and dramatically sent my husband out for more… (I totally pulled the ‘pregnancy hormones’ card on that one- for the first time!;) )
Anyway, I’ll keep you updated on my domestic success. I have a few more new recipes lined up this week, including an oreo and peanut butter cup, no bake pie for Ryan’s birthday (MMM!)- so send me all of your Martha Stewart vibes~