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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder

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This soup came about after I discovered a head of broccoli in my fridge that I had no plans for. I've made broccoli cheddar soup with beans before and really liked it and this wasn't all that different from it. However, this recipe used a red pepper which I also had in my fridge. The original recipe from Epicurious included heavy cream to make this more of a creamy chowder, but I decided to instead add a can of white beans and puree the soup, knowing this would result in an equally creamy soup without any cream! 
The spices in this soup aren't anything crazy, making this a good soup for all ages. Don't omit the sharp cheddar--the cheesiness of this soup is the best part! Feel free to add additional cheddar, especially since we've omitted the cream!
My favorite part of making soup? It's so easy to freeze! Normally I'd double the recipe and immediately freeze half, but I made this while Ryan was gone so I ate it for two days and then froze the rest for a busy evening when we can pair it with sandwiches or a salad!

One Year Ago: Turkey Tacos
Two Years Ago: Kale and Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
Three Years Ago: Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder
adapted from Epicurious

-1 head broccoli, coarsely chopped
-4 cups vegetable broth
-1 large Russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
-1 large onion, chopped
-1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
-2 tbsp unsalted butter
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/2 tsp dry mustard
-2 tbsp all-purpose flour
-1 can (15 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
-1 cup sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated

1. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add broccoli to boiling broth and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large stockpot. Reserve broth.
2. Add potato, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the stockpot with the broccoli along with the butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened. Add cumin, salt, pepper, and dry mustard, stirring and cooking for 1 minute. Add flour and 3 cups reserved vegetable broth. Stir in beans.
3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender) to puree to desired texture. Top with additional cheddar before serving, if desired.