Woman's Day Version:
- 2 1/2-in.-thick slices of bread, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 medium russet potato (about 8 oz), cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/4 lb), stalks peeled and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 cup lowfat milk
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 6 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated
- Heat oven to 400°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread with 1 Tbsp oil. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes; set aside.
- Heat the remaining Tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, garlic, onion, potato, broccoli stalks, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the remaining broccoli into small florets. Add the florets and 3 cups water to the vegetables, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, the broccoli should be just tender; if not, simmer 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and, using a handheld immersion blender (or a standard blender, working in batches and returning to the saucepan), purée the vegetable mixture. Add the milk and nutmeg and simmer to heat through, about 2 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Serve with the croutons.
I used store bought croutons.
I used a crock pot. I put the milk and nutmeg in first and melted the cheese, then poured in the vegetables.
Make sure to drain off all the water from boiling the vegetables, otherwise the soup will be watered down.
Don't over-salt. The extra-sharp cheddar will make the soup salty enough.
WHO I SHARED WITH:
My mom, whose recipe is better but found this one remarkably sufficient.