When the temperature drops below 40 degrees, my soup pot makes its seasonal appearance. Some mixtures require many minutes to shimmer away and meld the flavors. But this soup needs just about 8 minutes to throw together and a few more to melt the most important ingredient — cheese. You can easily hide the healthy stuff under the cozy cheddar blanket that will make you crave a bowl when the chilly winter evenings set it. With only a few ingredients that you’ll likely already have on hand, this is a filling and affordable winter staple in my Midwestern home (i.e. tiny apartment).
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 to 1/3 cup broccoli, cooked and chopped (I used more broccoli, as a personal preference. You can also decide how finely to dice the broccoli based on your own taste).
3 slices of American cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Melt the butter in a medium sized sauce pan, adding the flour and stirring until its smooth. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the chicken broth and milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add the shredded cheese, broccoli, sliced cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is well-blended and enjoy!
This serves two people and takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare. The recipe is also a great throw-in-the-freezer soup for those chilly winter evenings where you don’t care to part from a comfy couch.
My mom stumbled on this recipe when she worked as the home and food editor for the Indianola Record Herald and Tribune. This soup was a featured recipe in a church fundraiser in 1982 and easily won my mom over with its taste and convenience. For the 35 years since then, it’s become a weeknight and cold weather necessity.