Image by Diana J at Genius Kitchen
My Diva Queen daughter bribed me into going Christmas shopping. Not for her, of course, but she wanted to find the perfect gift for one of her friends, and “Oh, by the way, Mom, we can stop at Panera for lunch.” Of course, why didn’t I think of that? Probably because I’m actually trying to SAVE money right now instead of spending it on (IMHO) extravagant lunches at places like Panera. Oh, well, it did sound like fun, so off we went on a snowy afternoon to the mall. I hate malls. I hate shopping. But I love my kid, so I went shopping. At a mall. <3
When we got to Panera she was gushing about how absolutely yummy their Broccoli Cheese soup was. How did she know that, I wondered. Well, apparently now that she has two jobs, she likes to spend her money on things like going out with a girlfriend to an extravagant lunch at Panera. And that’s why she wanted me to experience all of the awesomeness of the Broccoli Cheese soup at Panera. Or perhaps it was that she wanted another bowl of this yummy soup. Either way, we popped into Panera and sure enough . . . their Broccoli Cheese soup is amazing!
So in true Frugal Mama style, I told her that we would look up the recipe and see if we could make it here at home. Probably a teeny-tiny bit less than we spent on one lunch on that snowy afternoon. I found the recipe on the Genius Kitchen website, so we are definitely going to give it a try. Maybe tonight, but right now I am getting my annual episode of bronchitis, sore throat, cough, ear ache, and sinus headache. We’ll see how the afternoon looks, but right now the sun is shining – although we are supposed to be getting several inches of snow tonight.
If I can get out to the store (or send the Diva Queen daughter now that she can drive), we’ll get the rest of the ingredients to make this yummy soup and then I’ll have pictures of my own creation. In the meantime, just wanted to pop in to let you know what’s going on around here. Still no new carpeting in the bedroom or new flooring in the laundry room. So the bed is still in the living room, and all of the rest of the bedroom furniture is still in the dining room – so STILL no place to put the Christmas tree.
If they don’t get the carpeting down in the next few days, it will be too late to put up the Christmas tree. That will make the girls sad, so we’ll figure out something, I’m sure. For right now, however, I’m going to take something for my headache and rest for a while. I have so many projects I want to work on, but they will all just have to wait until I get feeling better. Maybe some of the Broccoli Cheese soup will help!
I hope you can join us this week for the linky parties coming up! Here’s the recipe for Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup from Genius Kitchen. If you stop over there you’ll find lots of other great recipes that you might want to try. I’d love to hear about your adventures in cooking, because I’m still not convinced that I really ever want to cook again. At least not on a regular basis!
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1⁄2 medium chopped onion
- 1⁄4 cup melted butter
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1⁄2 lb fresh broccoli (chopped into bite size pieces)
- 1 cup carrot, julienned, grated
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper
- crusty bread or bread bowl
- 2 cups whole milk
Image by Diana J at Genius Kitchen
- Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.
- Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until you see a noticeable golden brown color in your pan.
- Slowly add in the chicken stock and whisk again to combine. Simmer contents covered (stirring occasionally) for 20 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the broccoli, carrots and the sauteed onions, into the pot. Stir, add the milk and half & half. Cook covered over low heat 20-25 minutes but do not bring to a boil. This may cause the milk to curdle.
- Add salt, pepper & nutmeg. Note: you can purée half of your soup in a blender or with a handheld immersion blender if you choose however it isn’t a requirement. Continue to cook the soup on low heat and slowly add the grated cheese a handful at a time and stir to avoid clumps. Once all the cheese has been added is melted, remove from heat, and serve immediately. Suggestion: serve with crusty bread or in a breadbowl.
- Refrigerate leftovers after they have cooled and store in a airtight container up to 5 days in the refrigerator.