1 large onion
1 large potato
1 medium carrot
2 large broccoli crowns
1 medium stalk celery
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 whole bay leaf
1 cup low-fat milk
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 ounce low-fat cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Special Materials: Blender
1. Rinse and peel onion, potato, and carrot. Rinse broccoli and celery. Peel garlic.
2. Dice onion and celery. Slice potato and carrots into thin slices. Cut broccoli florets away from the stem. Slice stems thinly. Mince garlic.
3. Grate cheese.
4. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add celery and onion. Cook until soft and lightly golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and stir. Cook about 30 seconds more.
5. Add potato, carrot, broccoli stems, bay leaf, milk, and broth to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are soft, about 15 minutes. Add broccoli florets in the last 10 minutes.
6. Remove and discard bay leaf. In a blender, puree about half the soup. Return blended soup to pot.
7. Add cheese, salt, and pepper. Simmer to melt the cheese, 2-3 minutes.
Try cauliflower instead of broccoli. Add a dash of ground cayenne pepper or paprika for heat. Keep pot uncovered when cooking green veggies like broccoli. This will help keep the color. Be careful when blending hot soup. Fill the blender only half full. Blend in batches, if needed. If your blender lid has a removable cap, remove it. Then, cover the lid completely with a kitchen towel. This allows hot steam to escape. If you do not have a blender, gently use a potato masher to blend hot soup.
More About Broccoli
How to Select
Buy fresh or frozen in whole heads or florets. Broccoli heads should be odorless with tight, blueish green florets.
How to Store
Refrigerate broccoli and use within 3-5 days.
How to Prepare
Broccoli can be sauted, steamed, boiled or eaten raw. Toss broccoli in a stir-fry, add it to salads, throw it on pizzas or dip it in low-fat ranch for a fun treat!