Sunny California Blend Cheese Soup

When I saw the California blend of veggies (carrots, cauliflower and broccoli) sitting In the refrigerator, I knew it had to become a beautiful soup. I kept remembering a soup from my childhood called Normandy blend soup. I remember it having big chunks of the California blend of veggies, and a velvety cheesy base. I searched for a recipe but never found one, so I decided to give it a try without one.

I chopped up the veggies in nice bite size pieces, and finely chopped an onion and celery, they are necessary for flavor but not the stars of the show.

I decided to blanch the California blend prior to putting it in the soup. I wanted the veggies to still have some texture but not crunch and to keep them vibrant. To blanch them bring a pot of salted water (it should taste like ocean water, this is your chance to bring out the flavor of the veggies) to a boil. Start with the carrots, let them simmer for 6-8 minutes. Using a strainer place the carrots into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Remove the carrots from water and place back in their bowl. Repeat with cauliflower blanch 4-5 minutes and the broccoli only 3-5 minutes.

Sauté onions and celery in the butter and oil til translucent 4-5 minutes.
Add about 1/4 cup of flour and stir, making sure all the oil has been absorbed, now allow this to cook a couple minutes. If you don’t the soup will taste of raw flour.

Now use a wire whisk and whisk the soup base while slowly adding the chicken stock. It will be very nice and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk in a cup of milk or half and half.

Allow this to come to a simmer. Stir in the shredded cheddar and stir until melted. Now carefully add the California blend of veggies. Allow to simmer 8-10 minutes, making sure the veggies are still al dente. At this point I also added 2 TBSP Dijon mustard to really finish the flavor and texture, as well as a Tbsp. Of Emerils essence seasoning to kick it up! (I use the salt free.) season with salt and pepper to taste.

Served with a couple warmed pretzel slider buns. Delicious.

Sunny California Blend Cheese Soup

Sunny California Blend Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 pound of carrots scrubbed and cit into bite size coins
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk or half and half
  • 2 1/2 cups medium cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Emerils essence (salt free)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep veggies
  2. Bring large pot of water to a boil, add salt. Water should be salty like the ocean. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  3. Add carrots to boiling water, let simmer 8-10 minutes. Remove to ice bath with a spider or strainer. Allow to cool, using spider it strainer remove to bowl. Repeat with cauliflower, blanch 5-6 minutes followed by broccoli, blanch 3-5 minutes.
  4. In a soup pot or Dutch oven melt oil and butter. Add celery and onion and cook until translucent 4-5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle flour over celery and onion and stir making sure all oil is absorbed. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Now whisk in chicken stock followed by milk.
  7. Add the cheese and stir while it melts. Carefully add in the California blend and stir. Add in mustard and Emerils essence.
  8. Bring to a simmer, allow to simmer 8-10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste, serve.

 

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