Pleasing Even the Pickiest Palates

I have a certain child (who shall not be named) who is extremely picky.  Our family jokes that she’s on the brown-and-white diet, i.e. she only eats brown and white foods.  And don’t even dare to serve her a green vegetable! I have no idea where her pickiness comes from, but I was thrilled when I tried this broccoli cheddar soup for the first time and she actually ate it! And better yet, she liked it!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 6-8 c. chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 c. sharp or extra-sharp cheddar, grated
  • 2 heads fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs chicken, cooked and chopped (optional)

Saute onion and garlic in butter until translucent. Add the flour and stir until bubbly. Add the milk and the broth and stir frequently until thickened. Stir in all remaining ingredients except the cheese and simmer 30-40 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Do not let it come to a boil. Last, stir in the cheese and heat until melted.

Flexible Options to Suit Every Taste

One of my favorite things about this soup is that it’s very flexible. Sub veggie broth for the chicken broth, and it’s compatible with most vegetarian diets. Have some carrots on hand that you need to use up? Throw them in with the broccoli! You can grate or finely dice the carrots–my family prefers grated.  The carrots add a great color and some extra nutrition as well. You can even add some finely chopped cauliflower.

With the holidays right around the corner, you’ll probably end up having plenty of turkey leftovers. After you’ve had your fill of turkey sandwiches, try tossing the leftover turkey into this soup instead of using chicken.  And although I haven’t personally tried it, I bet some cubed ham would taste great also!

One final note: Make sure you use sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese! The flavors tend to mellow once they’re combined, and mild cheddar leads to a bland-tasting soup.  Also, the cayenne pepper adds a slight kick, which my family doesn’t mind.  Start with less if you think it might be too spicy for your tastes.

I hope you’ll try this soup and enjoy it as much as we do!  Any recipe that gets my picky eater to consume some veggies is a winner in my book!


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