When I was growing up my favorite place to be was my Grandma’s house. It was a haven of sorts throughout my childhood. Everything was just better at Grandma’s. The food tasted better, the beds were softer and warmer, and it always smelled of fresh coffee and whatever delectable concoction she had going for the next meal.
I was always a bit in awe of her. She could have all of us kids underfoot and yet her house was always clean and she kept a smile on her face as though she possessed some sort of Granny magic that kept her little universe in tact. She taught me everything I know about keeping a house yet even when she was 90 I felt that she could run circles around me. She passed away a month ago at age 93. Looking back I am still in awe of her and so thankful for the stability she provided me and my siblings. Her strong faith imbued those around her with comfort and security. Some of my happiest memories consist of standing on a chair next to her kitchen counter licking the beaters while she baked and told me stories.
One of my favorite recipes of Granny Annie’s was her broccoli cheese soup. Whenever she had a surprise group of people to feed, which was quite often, she could produce a pot of it in less than an hour with very little fuss. I have made some adjustments over the years to make a thicker and creamier version, but I still refer to the recipe she scribbled out for me on some scratch paper when I make it.
Granny Annie’s Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
Bring chopped broccoli, carrots, onion and chicken stock to a boil. You want just enough stock to cover the vegetables. Simmer with the lid on for about 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.
While the vegetables are simmering, make a roux by melting the stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat and slowly whisk in the flour until dissolved. Continue stirring until it looks like a thick light brown paste. Slowly add half and half, stirring constantly over medium high heat until the bechamel sauce thickens and is smooth and creamy.
Remove from heat as soon as it boils. Stir bechamel into the vegetable and stock mixture. Add cheese to hot mixture stirring until all cheese is dissolved. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. You may re-heat but do not boil again after adding bechamel sauce.
In my Grandmother’s original recipe she sometimes used canned milk instead of the white sauce so if you prefer your soup on the thinner side that is an option. I hope you enjoy one of my favorite childhood recipes.
- Serves: 15
- Serving size: 12 0z
- Calories: 301
- Fat: 21 g
- Saturated fat: 12.9 g
- Unsaturated fat: 8.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.9 g
- Sugar: 5.2 g
- Sodium: 502.5 mg
- Fiber: 3.3 g
- Protein: 11.5 g
- Cholesterol: 65.1 mg
- 5 Cups Chopped Broccoli
- 2 or 3 Chopped Carrots
- 1 Large Chopped Onion
- 5 to 6 Cups Chicken Stock (enough to cover vegetables)
- ½ cup (1 stick) Butter
- 1 cup Flour (I use Montana White Whole Wheat flour)
- 1 quart Half and Half (can substitute milk depending on your fat preference)
- 3 Cups shredded Colby Jack Cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a 6 or 8 quart sauce pan combine broccoli, carrots, onion and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until tender. About 30 Minutes.
- While the vegetables simmer, make a roux by melting the stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Slowly add the flour until dissolved. It will look like a thick, light brown paste.
- Whisk constantly until thick, smooth and bubbling.
- Slowly add half and half, stirring constantly over medium high heat until the bechamel sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat as soon as it boils.
- Stir bechamel in to the vegetable and stock mixture.
- Add grated cheese to hot mixture stirring until all cheese is dissolved. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot.