½cupjulienned carrots - buy matchstick carrotsalready done for you and at every grocery store
1garlic clove - smashed and chopped
2cupsof chicken stock
3cupsof half and half can also use whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste - season as you go
4cupschopped fresh broccoli florets - you can also get a 12 ounce bag of already chopped and use the whole thing
2 ½cupsof sharp cheddar cheese -
¼heavy whipping cream not necessary but add a really nice luxurious touch at the end
In a large soup pot or dutch oven melt your butter. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until a little soft and translucent - about four minutes, season with salt. Add your garlic and cook another minute until fragrant. Sprinkle in your flour and mix it in. COok this for a couple minutes until it smells nutty - you want to cook the raw flour a bit.
Slowly add your chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer this for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn at the bottom. This is where your first pureeing comes in. Using an immersion blender, a regular blender or a food processor, blend this all until smooth. If you are using a blender or food processor BE CAREFUL! Start on super low in a blender and in a food processor use a low pulse. and don't use the stopper, the heat can cause the top to blow off if you don't leave some room for air to get out.
Put the pureed base back in your pot and return to low/medium heat. Add your half and half or milk, broccoli, nutmeg, paprika and additional salt and pepper. Bring this to a simmer over low/medium heat and continue cooking until the broccoli is nice and soft and tender. Now comes the second blend, blend with immersion blender until some of the chunks have broken up and smooth out a bit. If using a blender or processor, take about ½ - ⅔ of the chunks of broccoli and some of the creamy base and blitz it up just a couple seconds to smooth it out a bit. Add this back to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a quick simmer and cook for about five more minutes.
Remove the entire pot from the heat and stir in your cheese a cup at a time, stirring until completely melted and velvety smooth. Sitr inthe whipping cream and tabasco last.
Serve warm with those biscuits, bread, or carb of choice.