Broccoli Cheese Soup II (with Ham)

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Even before I baked ham the other day, I already had plans for the leftovers! I wanted to make ham and potato soup, but he had a different craving. M loves Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup – I like it too. That’s not the problem…when I have a plan, I’m not immediately flexible to accommodate different ideas! He doesn’t really like my version because it’s not as thick as Panera’s – but I have a feeling they accomplish this by adding processed cheese. After deciding to go ahead with his plan, I quickly looked for a recipe that called for the stuff, but I couldn’t find one. I was in the parking lot of the grocery store, using my slow phone and didn’t have a whole lot of time. This recipe makes a small batch of thick, rich soup – all that half and half kept the base nice and creamy. I usually double my go-to recipe and use whatever milk I have, so it’s much thinner.

Verdict: Okay…this recipe is better than the other one. It’s rich and creamy, thanks to all that half and half! Also, the addition of diced ham (from a new recipe I’ll share soon) was a tasty, meaty and a perfect complement. Everyone loved it and the rolls I paired with it. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup – adapted from Cookbook-Recipes

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 heaping cup of diced ham, optional

Directions:

Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Quick Post: What do you do when the co-op only gives you a few potatoes and two broccoli crowns? You make soup for lunch, that’s what 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Broccoli and Potato Soup –

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, small dice
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • nutmeg, freshly grated to taste
  • shredded cheddar cheese for topping

1. Place a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter. Sauté the onions and carrots until soft but still firm, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and then whisk in the flour, cook for  1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the vegetable stock and the half and half to the pan, whisk constantly so that no lumps form – about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in nutmeg and stir. Cover and simmer {over medium-low} for 15 minutes.

3. Next, reduce heat to low and add in the onions, carrots, broccoli and potato. Add more vegetable stock if you feel the soup is too thick. Stir and cover to simmer for another 20-25 minutes.

4. Lastly, use a potato masher to break up the broccoli florets to desired size. Season generously {to taste} with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve immediately and top with cheddar cheese.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Sandwiches

Quick Post:  This was amazing! Panera Bread has nothing on homemade! This is so much cheaper than eating there, too 🙂 I will make this again and again. The baked ham and cheese sandwiches are a must for dipping. I used multi grain ciabatta bread, honey ham and baby swiss. Wrap each sandwich in foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. My picky daughter loved the simple sandwiches, but turned down the soup – more for me 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup – adapted from Simply Scratch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted Butter, divided
  • 1 small Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 medium Carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups Half-and-Half
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock, plus more if needed
  • 1 bunch {12 ounces} Fresh Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fresh Nutmeg, or more to taste
  • 8 ounces Good Sharp Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Black Pepper, to taste 

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop the broccoli florets into the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the broccoli and place it into a large bowl of ice water. Once cooled, drain the broccoli and set aside.

Sauté the onions and carrots in two tablespoons of butter until soft but still firm. Remove and set aside.

Add the 1/4 cup of melted butter to the same pan. Add in the flour, stir constantly for 2-3 minutes. 

Slowly pour half-and-half and then the vegetable stock while still whisking. Add in nutmeg and stir. Cover and simmer {over medium-low} for 20 minutes.

Next, reduce heat to low and add in the onions, carrots and broccoli. Add more vegetable stock if you feel the soup is too thick. Stir and cover to simmer for another 20-25 minutes.

Lastly, use a potato masher to break up the broccoli florets to desired size. Add in half of the cheddar cheese. Season generously {to taste} with kosher salt and black pepper. 

Serve immediately with additional cheddar cheese.

Roasted Broccoli

Quick Post: I’ve never had roasted broccoli and have wanted to try it for some time. Broccoli was on sale today and I needed a “diet-friendly” side dish to go along with this tilapia and these mashed potatoes. These were so good – a little salty bite, savory, nutty a little sweet…so good. It’s my new favorite way to enjoy broccoli 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli –

  • 4 cups broccoli, rinsed and trimmed
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425.
Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices. Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes.

Baked Teriyaki Chicken

I have used this recipe so many times and we’re not sick of it yet. This time however, I served myself a lot less rice than I used to and tons more veggies instead. This picture was taken after I had already eaten some (oops) then I remembered I wanted to blog about it! Normally this is served over white rice and steamed broccoli then topped with some of the sauce the chicken cooked in – it’s so yummy! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Baked Teriyaki Chicken Ingredients – adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 skinless chicken thighs

Directions –

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.


Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Just a quick post to share a yummy recipe I discovered early this year. This recipe is easily doubled, and if you’d like to stretch it even further you can add some potatoes ( I did this time ). Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Recipe found here: My Bizzy Kitchen

Alfredo, Shells, Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese!

This is a recipe my sister gave me years ago – I don’t know what its official name is, so that explains why this title is so long!;o) It also leaves no questions as to what is in it. My family has always enjoyed this and it couldn’t be easier to throw together. Thanks for reading!

Ingredients –

  • 1 pound box of shell pasta
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds bone-in skin on chicken breast
  • 1 – 14 ounce bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 – 16 ounce jar alfredo sauce
  • 1  – 8 ounce block of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt, pepper and olive oil for roasting chicken
  • lemon pepper

Directions –

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts then season them well with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Let the chicken cool until you can safely handle it, then shred it  and set it aside.

2. Put a large pot of salted water (at least a gallon) to boil. Once it’s come to a rolling boil pour the pasta into the pot, stir occasionally to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking. Once it’s finished, drain pasta and set aside.

3. Steam the broccoli in the microwave by dumping the bag in a microwave safe container. Add a little water then cover tightly with plastic wrap – don’t forget to poke a few holes to let steam out. I cooked mine for 4 minutes – they don’t have to be completely cooked through.

4. Get a large bowl out add pasta, shredded chicken, cheese, broccoli and alfredo sauce, then season well with lemon pepper. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with Pam and pour the pasta mixture then sprinkle the top with more cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes, or if you like your cheese to brown and bubbly, you can place it under the broiler for a few minutes instead. Enjoy!