I may have an obsession with a certain quick-service restaurant that specializes in bread. Like, really good bread. And really good sandwiches. And REALLY good soup. Their salads are good too, but honestly, we’re there for the bread. And the soup. And the soup in the bread bowls.
… OK fine. It’s Panera. I’m talking about Panera.
My favorite soup from Panera is most definitely the broccoli cheddar. Smooth, creamy, and super flavorful, this is soup is simple to make, and packs a big punch. The secret is definitely using a nice, sharp cheddar- it plays perfectly against the decadent creaminess of the soup.
And yeah, don’t forget about the vegetables here! It’s almost like a HEALTH soup when you think about all those broccoli florets, carrots, and onions in there… right? Right?
OK, maybe not. But in my opinion, everything in moderation is key. This includes indulgence!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 1 tbsp + ¼ cup butter
- ½ medium chopped onion
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ lb fresh broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 cup carrot, shredded
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper
- Melt 1 tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent, then set aside.
- In a pot over medium heat, melt the ¼ cup butter. Add flour and whisk together quickly to form a roux. Continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, then add the half & half.
- Add the chicken stock, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the broccoli florets, shredded carrots and cooked onions. Reduce heat and cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper. Then, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth or to your liking. Return to heat and add cheese. Stir, together, then add nutmeg.
- Ladle into bowls and serve!
Recipe from Food.com.
What’s YOUR favorite thing to eat at Panera?
Happy Eating 🙂
P.S. This is NOT a paid endorsement of Panera- I just legitimately love it there!
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before on this blog, but pizza is the ultimate comfort food for me. It’s portable, filling, tasty- you really can’t go wrong.
Yes, it’s possible to have bad pizza. Like, really bad pizza. I’m talking 3 in the morning, cold cheese on ketchup pizza that may or may not come with a free soda and fries if you order two slices for 99 cents. This is what we call a food tragedy. But it should not represent the greater, tastier food group that IS pizza!
The good news is, it’s really hard to make bad pizza in your own home, since you’re controlling exactly what goes on! Once you have the basic dough down, you are essentially good to go. I am normally very much a red sauce kinda girl when it comes to my pizza, but I had some leftover arugula pesto (that stuff freezes great!) so I used that, some fresh mozz, garlic, shallots, and broccoli to make this a green pizza that will certainly NOT scream diet material. Firstly, because I don’t think cheese on bread counts as diet material anyway. Secondly, because this pizza is way too darn tasty to scream anything other than “decadence”.
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- corn meal, to cover the baking sheet or pizza stone
- ½ to ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise into thin slices
- ½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella (or 3-4 big slices)
- ½ to 1 cup arugula pesto
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
- Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar, garlic powder, oregano and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a small pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, thyme and shallots. The idea here isn’t necessarily to fry the aromatics, but to sort of poach them. Cook until the shallots are translucent and garlic is just starting to get crispy. Your house will smell very garlicky and delicious at this point.
- Turn out the pizza dough onto a baking sheet or pizza stone that has been dusted with cornmeal. You should also rub your hands with some corn meal to prevent the dough from sticking to you. Spread the dough out to the shape you want, then layer on your toppings. I started out with arugula pesto, then added a layer of mozzarella, the broccoli, and finished it off by pouring my oil and poached aromatics on top.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Slice, drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired, and serve!
Happy Eating 🙂
Sometimes, a girl’s gotta get her vegetables on. Maybe you’ve overindulged in too much crack pie, or pudding, or even too many pancakes. Not that I’ve ever done
one all of these things. And with St Patrick’s Day coming up, this not only is bright and green, but it also serves as a great detox-er for those who … um… love this holiday a little too much!
This recipe comes from Alton Brown, one of my favorite chefs on Food Network. I really love the addition of toasted panko here- adds a real nice crunch to this side dish. Continue reading
One of my favorite gifts this Christmas came from my boyfriend’s brother and sister-in-law: a Calphalon Unison sear pan. I had seen it a few times on Food Network commercials featuring Michael Symon, and have been waiting for a perfect opportunity to use it. One of my purchases from FreshDirect this week was a package of 4 one-inch thick boneless pork chops- so, as they say… it’s go time for the other white meat (people say that, right?).
This is actually a recipe I made up this morning while walking to the PATH train. I knew I wanted to get that nice sear crust on the pork chops, and then braise them in a flavorful liquid to make them tender and delicious. If I had had white wine on hand, I would have used this in place of the chicken broth- however, both work totally fine. Continue reading