Some days call for soup that warms the body and the soul! A hearty soup is needed for such occasions and it does not need to be expensive or take hours to prepare. Only 20 minutes of prep time is needed to make this broccoli chowder and that includes the accompanying cheddar toast. Four people can enjoy this meal.
You will need:
• 4 small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
• ½ head broccoli, broken into individual florets, with peeled and sliced stems
• 2 strips bacon, sliced thin
• 2 cloves garlic, smashed
• 2 cups milk
• 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• ½ (about 1 cup) yellow onion, chopped
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• ½ teaspoon celery seed
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Ground pepper
• 8 thin slices cheddar cheese
• 1 baguette, sliced to create 8 pieces each ¼-inch thick
• Medium saucepan with lid
• Baking sheet
Step 1: Put the butter and bacon in the saucepan and cook on low heat about 2 minutes or until it slightly renders. Add celery seed, garlic, and onion and cook about 4 minutes or until soft.
Step 2: Scatter flour over this mixture and stir contents to coat. Gradually add milk and chicken broth, whisking the contents until liquid is smooth.
Step 3: Add the sliced broccoli stem and the potatoes. Turn the heat to medium and simmer this, covered, until contents are slightly softened (approximately 5 minutes). Add broccoli florets and salt. Step 4: Rapidly simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until vegetables become tender. Use salt and pepper to season.
Step 5: Place rack in upper section of oven and preheat broiler on high. Spread mustard onto each baguette piece and top each piece with a slice of cheese. Place the bread on the baking sheet and broil it until the cheese has melted. Serve the bread with the soup.