2large carrotsfinely diced or shredded (about 1 cups)
1small onionfinely diced or shredded (about 1 cup)
4cupsbroccolichopped, finely chopped, some stems included
32ounceslow-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½cupsmilk or creamI used half nonfat milk and half heavy cream
6ouncesfresh sharp cheddar cheeseshredded (about a cup and a half)
In a large 5 quart soup pot (dutch oven), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened; 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and broccoli and cook until broccoli turns bright green; about 1-2 minutes.
Add chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until broccoli is soft. Mash gently with a potato masher to break up vegetables. (This is an optional step, but if you want the soup really chunky you can skip it).
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, add the flour and slowly whisk in about 1/4 cup of the soup liquid (skimmed from the pot, without vegetables). When completely smooth (add more liquid if needed) stir into the soup pot. Immediately stir/whisk in the cream/milk and stir until completely combined. Simmer (turn up the heat a little if needed) for 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Continue to stir until cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional shredded cheddar, if desired.
Leftovers: Let your soup cool completely, then pour into an airtight container. Homemade Broccoli Soup will last 3-4 days in the the refrigerator.Freezing: Allow the soup to cool completely, then pour into an airtight, freezer safe container or freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possibly if using a bag, and if using a container be sure to leave an inch at the top for expansion. Store in the freezer for 4-6 months.Stove top reheating: If frozen, thaw soup in the fridge overnight. Pour the soup into a saucepan or soup pot on the stove. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until warmed.Microwave reheating: Pour soup into a microwave safe bowl and cover with a paper towel or loosely with a microwave safe lid. Heat on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring at least once for even heating.