Friday, February 3, 2012

Variation on our Theme: Soup {Sam}

I LOVE BROCCOLI.  Let’s just start off with that.  I don’t necessarily like it raw, but I could eat it cooked by the pound.  And when it is in things?!  Well don’t get me started… (Beware if you ever make beef and broccoli… I might just show up on your doorstep).  J  So when I picked my soup for the week, I gravitated toward one with broccoli in it.  Also, hubby had been saying that he wanted some sort of potato chowder, so this seemed like the perfect fit for this week:  Broccoli, Bacon and Cheddar Chowder!  In essence, what I made is the recipe from our cookbook (scroll back the last couple days to find it!).  I’m confident in saying that if you made this recipe exactly according to the recipe it would be a hit!  BUT, due to the ingredients I had on hand, and preferring fresh broccoli over frozen, I made some variations to the recipe.  Because of that, I actually get to share exactly what I did with you!!

First.  In a large pot I sautéed 8 slices of turkey bacon.  I chopped it up before I cooked it, but you could easily chop it afterward if you prefer.  After it was cooked, I set it aside wrapped in a paper towel.   Then I added 2tbsp of butter to the same pot I just took the bacon out of; let it melt and added 1 finely chopped onion.  I let it sauté for about 5-8 minutes to let it soften.

While the onions were cooking I grabbed from the pantry: flour, chicken stock, salt and cayenne pepper.  Milk from the fridge too!  When the onions seemed soft, I dusted them with flour, about 2tbsp, maybe less, and let that cook into the onions for about 2 minutes. 

Now here is the important part:  whisk, whisk, whisk.  You have to make sure in the following steps that the flour is getting whisked in properly and not forming clumps that are hard to get rid of later.  SO.  Gradually, as I was whisking often, I added in 3cups of skim milk, 1 can of chicken stock, a tsp of salt, and a good dash of cayenne.  Brought it to a gentle simmer, and kept it going for about 3 minutes, still whisking often.  I then added 3 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled and then diced into approximately ½ in pieces.  Keeping it at a simmer only (no boiling!), I stirred often so the potatoes didn’t get clumped up, for about 20 minutes.  I wanted them nice and soft in the soup!

Broccoli!!  There was A LOT of broccoli in our soup.  While the soup was simmering, I chopped up about 7 big heads of broccoli and put them in a pyrex with a small amount of water and stuck them in the microwave.  In total, they probably steamed in there for a good 7-8 minutes, but you could do them longer or shorter depending on the crispness of the broccoli you want for the soup.  I left them sitting in the microwave because they didn’t get mixed into the soup until the end.

SO, back to the soup on the stove…

Cheese… next came the cheese.  I asked hubby to grate some cheddar and next thing I know we have two kinds on the counter: Cougar Gold (a sharp white cheddar, famous from our college creamery) and some regular sharp yellow cheddar.  So we did both.  1 cup of each got melted into the soup (In reality, it was probably 1.5 cups of each… yummm, cheese).  I then added a good dash of buffalo Tabasco sauce (any pepper sauce would do).  At this point you could adjust the seasonings: pepper sauce, salt, cayenne, but the sharp cheddars in mine made for a great flavor!

I mixed in the reserved turkey bacon and the steamed broccoli, and ladled into bowls… VOILA!

Side Note: Hubby exclaimed frequently while eating it that he loved it, HOWEVER… he was not a fan of the fact that I used turkey bacon.  While he devoured what I made, he thought regular bacon would have added a little somethin’ somethin’.  Turkey bacon was what I had on hand because I have been trying to eat better breakfasts, it Obviously doesn’t have that much of an effect on the health of this soup since it is filled with cheese!  Haha, regardless of hubby's complaints, I thought it tasted great in this soup!

Hope you enjoy!  Next week, I’m actually going to share some stuffs other than food!  What a concept ;)

Happy Superbowl weekend!


1 comment:

  1. So for you, this was like broccoli with potato/bacon/cheese sauce ;) I can only imagine how good it was with Cougar Gold in it!