California Blend Cheese Soup

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California Blend Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup broccoli stems, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 8 oz. block good quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and broccoli stems; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the soup pot.
  2. When butter is melted, add flour to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, until flour is thickened.
  3. Slowly pour in the milk and half and half, whisking constantly. Continue to thin it out, gradually whisking in the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, whisking occasionally to reincorporate the skin that may form.
  4. When the soup base is thickened nicely, stir in the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes or so until the vegetables are fork-tender. Move pot off of heat and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes. Stir in most of the cheese until melted.
  5. Serve in bowls with a little extra cheese and a piece of crusty bread for dunking.

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