Often when traveling we find ourselves stopping at the Panera restaurant chain. They are all over the Mid Atlantic and the food is excellent and inexpensive. And one of our favorite things to order there is a broccoli cheese soup.
Everyone ate this tonight along with a homemade baguette. And I know they liked it, because SC asked to have it for lunch tomorrow!
Broccoli Cheese Soup
1 cup chopped onion (frozen is fine)
2 Tbs butter or oil (if using fresh onion, you may want to double this)
In a 4 qt or larger pot, cook the onions in the butter/oil until they become transparent.
If using frozen onions, the water will help cook them. Make sure most of the liquid is gone before continuing.
24 oz frozen chopped broccoli or broccoli cuts
grated carrot (I used about 4 baby carrots for this)
1 qt chicken stock or bouillon
Simmer until the broccoli is tender.
Process the broccoli and some of the liquid in a food processor/blender or with an immersion blender.
I do small amounts at a time. You can make this as smooth or as chunky as you like.
1 pound cubed processed cheese (Velveeta type)
If you are anti-Velveeta you could use grated cheddar, but stir well as it's harder to melt in smoothly!
Keep stirring over low heat as you add in, a little at a time:
1/4- 1/2 cup cornstarch combined with an equal amount of water (mix in a cup or shake in a jar)
You can season this with a little nutmeg as Panera does but it's delicious just as it is!