It's time for another delicious installment of the Secret Recipe Club. The fun monthly group I belong to, where we are assigned a fellow members blog in secret, and we get to choose one or more of their recipes to try. We all then share that recipe on the same day, then see who had our blog, and what they chose to make. My secret assignment this month was Ashley over at Rainstorms and Love Notes.
Ashley lives in North Carolina with her husband TJ and their three cats. She's a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and in her spare time likes binge watching TV shows. She uses her blog to share recipes, with a few DIY projects and funny stories sprinkled in for good measure. Some of the yummy recipes I found in her recipe index that I wanted to try were Chicken Tortilla Soup, Flour Tortillas, Strawberry Chocolate Fool, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites.
How to make homemade Cream of Broccoli Soup in less than 30 minutes! (Click to Tweet)
I ultimately decided on her Cream of Broccoli Soup. Homemade soup is one of my favorite meals, especially cream of broccoli. I first discovered this yummy soup at a restaurant in Chicago, and have been hooked ever since. It was even one of the foods I craved during my last pregnancy. I couldn't get enough of it. Oddly, I've never tried making it homemade before now. Pretty shocking, being that I like it so much. That won't happen anymore, now that I have this delicious recipe in my files. It came out thick and tasty, and was so good with the Garlic Croutons I sprinkled on top. They added a nice crunch and flavor, that had me going back for seconds and thirds!
I made a few small changes to the original recipe, to use what I already had in my pantry. I used frozen broccoli instead of fresh, being as it's the middle of winter, and there is no actual "fresh" broccoli to be found. I used green onions instead of white due to heartburn issues, vegetable broth instead of chicken due to an allergy, left out the nutmeg because we aren't big fans, and evaporated milk instead of heavy cream. Using evaporated milk in place of heavy cream is one of my favorite frugal tips. One, because it's cheaper, and two, it's easier to keep evaporated milk stored and ready to use, without worrying about an expiration date. Did you know you can even whip evaporated milk? You sure can. It's a trick I learned a couple of months ago, and will be sharing with you here on the blog soon.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 - 14 oz package frozen broccoli florets, chopped (1 bunch fresh broccoli may be substituted)
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup evaporated milk
Shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the broccoli and simmer for 10 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.
Drain all but 1 cup of the water, then using an immersion blender, puree the broccoli and water until fairly smooth. (I left mine a little chunky, because that's the way I like it). (The broccoli and water can also be carefully pureed in a blender). Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the onion and saute for a minute or two, until onion is tender.
Stir in flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
Slowly pour in the broth, whisking constantly, until mixture begins bubbling. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes, continuing to whisk constantly, until mixture has thickened slightly.
Stir in the pureed broccoli, along with salt and pepper.
Add the evaporated milk, and cook until heated through, stirring frequently.
Taste for seasonings, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve with garlic croutons or crusty bread.
What's your favorite soup to enjoy during the winter?