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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Broccoli and Cheese Soup in Homemade Bread Bowls
Have I told y'all how much I enjoy a nice bowl of hot soup? For me, it's not just a seasonal thing either - I eat it all year! I can promise you when it's in the triple digits here in Arizona, we'll still be eating soup. (For the record, we've already had a few days of triple digits this year - it's crazy considering some of y'all have had snow in *MAY* - what is up with the weird weather anyways?!)
Aside from soup, another thing I really enjoy making and eating (and so does my family), is homemade bread! This carb-junkie (me) likes it too much if you want the truth. We don't do bread bowls too often, but my family thinks they're the coolest things since there is no "real bowl" per se.
This meal is a little time-consuming in the making of the bread, but since the bread machine practically does all the work, it's not too bad! I hope you'll consider this family favorite Broccoli and Cheese Soup - you'll be glad you did! :)
Place all ingredients in the bread pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the dough setting. Check the dough after about 5 minutes - add 1-2 tbsp. four or water if necessary.
When the cycle is complete, turn the dough into a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Shape each piece into a ball. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled - about 30 minutes.
Bake at 400°F. for 18-23 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Allow to cool.
To serve: Cut off the top portion of the bread. Carefully hollow out the bowl leaving about ¼-in. shell. Discard the removed bread or save it for another use. Fill the bowl with the desired soup.
1 large head of broccoli, stems removed and discarded, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt & pepper, to taste
12 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups half & half
In a soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrot. Cook until the onion turns soft and becomes translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the broth and milk, whisking until well combined.
Add the broccoli, salt and pepper. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow to cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Add the cheese, one handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is melted. Add the half & half and heat through.
Serve the soup in the cooled bread bowls.
** If you prefer a smoother soup, use an immersion blender at the end just before serving! A regular blender or food processor works too - only fill it halfway and blend in batches if necessary!