Labor Day weekend. Ahh the glorious three-day transition into my favorite season of the year: Fall. And what does fall mean? Soup of course! No matter that it's still 80 degrees out; my mind has officially switched into fall mode. Since I began working from home I have been hard pressed to find some decent options for lunch, and as a result I end up snacking through most of our pantry. Now that fall is upon us, I decided to make a pot of soup each weekend to have for lunches throughout the week.
My first choice was a soup that I came across on Annie's blog a while back - Cooking Light's Baked Potato-and-Broccoli Soup. And honestly, this soup should have "cheese" somewhere in its title because it's nice and cheesy as well :) This is a wonderful alternative to a very heavy and fat-laden version that is served at most restaurants.
This soup was easy to throw together and it was very tasty. The only thing that I plan on doing differently next time is:
I will saute the onions in a little butter until they soften, as I do with most other soups that I make. I usually feel that doing this lends the broth base a deeper flavor. After this I would then add the broth, broccoli and potato and proceed with the recipe.
Baked Potato-and-Broccoli Soup
(Source: Cooking Light)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 (14.5-oz) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth, divided
3 cups cubed, peeled potato (1.25 lbs) - I used 2 medium sized baking potatoes
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/4 cup reduced-fat 2% milk (I used 1% because that's what we keep in the house)
1 (8-oz) block 2% reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded**
Whisk flour and 1/3 cup chicken broth until smooth.
Combine remaining chicken broth and next 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Cooking, stirring often, 5 minutes.
Stir in milk and 8 oz. shredded cheese. Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese melts.
Serve with additional shredded cheese, bacon bits and chopped scallions.
**Note: Freshly shredded cheese is recommended (versus pre-shredded) for additional creaminess and even melting.