Saturday, March 3, 2012

Broccoli Carrot Cheddar Soup gluten-free

This soup is delicious! My mom and I love to go to a popular soup place (which will remain nameless) and get their creamy broccoli cheddar soup. But, sadly, it's not gluten-free. Now I make this delicious soup at home - and I can control what goes into the pot. The addition of carrots to a traditional broccoli soup makes for a richer flavor. This is truly one of my favorite cold weather dishes.

2 crowns fresh broccoli
4 large carrots
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp white rice flour
32 oz. chicken stock
3 cups milk
3 cups cheddar cheese
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
the tiniest pinch of nutmeg

optional toppings: cheddar cheese & sour cream

Cut the broccoli crowns into small florets. Wash and peel carrots. Cut carrots into thin slices or shred in the food processor. Combine Broccoli and carrots together in a large pot, nearly cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until everything is soft, depending on the size of your veggies this may take 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot or dutch oven melt butter and combine with rice flour. Cook mixture for 1 minutes while stirring. Slowly add chicken stock while using a whisk to break up any clumps from the flour. Add milk. Cook on medium high while stirring frequently. The mixture should thicken slightly after 20 minutes. If you want a thicker soup at this point you can add 4 Tbsp of corn starch mixed with a little water and continue to cook to desired thickness. Remove from heat. Add the cheddar cheese and mix to incorporate. The type of cheese you use is important in this dish because this is where a lot of the flavor comes from. I like to use a freshly grated cheddar as opposed to a pre-shredded cheese because I think it has a more sharp flavor.
Once the broccoli and carrots are soft strain them. Add them to the creamy soup base. Using a hand blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency. You can leave the soup more chunky, or blend until smooth. Top with the toppings of your choice.

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