Lightened Up Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
Source: Amber’s Delectable Delights adapted from Food Network
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (Indulge with 6 tbsp. butter)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/8 cup all-purpose flour (Indulge with 1/4 cup AP flour)
2 cups fat free half-and-half (Indulge with regular half & half)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves or 1/2 tsp. chopped bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups broccoli florets, about 1 head
1 large carrot, diced
2 1/2 cups, approximately 8 oz., grated reduced fat sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish (Indulge with full fat cheese)
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook until tender 4-5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, approximately 2-3 minutes. Gradually whisk in half & half until smooth. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, nutmeg, salt & pepper & stir to combine. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium low & cook uncovered for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened.
Next add broccoli & carrots to the broth and simmer approximately 20 minutes, until tender. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot. Whisk in cheese, stirring constantly over medium heat until melted. If soup is too thick add up to 1 cup water to obtain the right consisitency. If it is too thin add a slurry of 1/2 tbsp. cornstartch to 1/2 tbsp. water. Ladle into bowls & garnish with cheese if desired.