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
- 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
- Prep veggies
- Bring large pot of water to a boil, add salt. Water should be salty like the ocean. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- 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.
- In a soup pot or Dutch oven melt oil and butter. Add celery and onion and cook until translucent 4-5 minutes.
- 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.
- Now whisk in chicken stock followed by milk.
- Add the cheese and stir while it melts. Carefully add in the California blend and stir. Add in mustard and Emerils essence.
- Bring to a simmer, allow to simmer 8-10 minutes.
- Season to taste, serve.
Copyright 2007 - 2012 Tanya Jolly & Sally Stevens