Broccoli Cheese Soup with Homemade Croutons
Serves 6 to 8
This soup recipe is quick, easy and absolutely delicious. The flavors of broccoli and cheese go perfectly together. The noodles add texture and thicken the soup naturally, making for a lighter cheese soup than usual. The homemade croutons are very easy to make and complement the seasonings in the soup. However, you can use store-bought croutons if preferred.
- 2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- 1 package (16-ounces) frozen broccoli cuts
- 8 ounces uncooked fine egg noodles
- 4 cups milk (can use reduced fat)
- 12 ounces (3 cups) shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Homemade croutons seasoned with marjoram, parsley and garlic (see notes below)
Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add the broth, sherry, marjoram and broccoli cuts; bring to a boil. Crush the noodles lightly with your hands to break into smaller pieces and stir into the broth. Cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and heat thoroughly without boiling. Stir in the cheese and heat just until melted, again without boiling. Season with salt and pepper. (Taste before adding salt as there will be plenty with the broth and the cheese.) Serve immediately or let set on lowest setting, covered. Pass croutons separately to garnish individual bowls.
Notes: To make the croutons, cut rustic bread into medium cubes. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with marjoram and garlic powder. Brown in a skillet or on a sheet pan in a moderate oven. This soup is surprisingly good leftover. Reheat just until hot without boiling.