Thursday, April 19, 2012

Soup for the sickie

I've got my oldest mini home sick with me today.  So we've been snuggling on the couch, watching Animal Planet and doing puzzles.  It has been wonderful.  I was starting to think I should homeschool him, but then I realized I haven't actually taught him anything today.  Although we did both learn that St. Bernard's can find a trapped human being under 20 feet of snow.

My oldest mini loves soup.  He is my pickiest eater, but the one thing he really loves is broccoli cheddar soup.  Specifically, broccoli cheddar soup from Panera.  The McGhees rarely go out to eat, for both nutrition and cost reasons.   I think it goes without saying that I have "food control" issues and having someone else prepare my food stresses me out.  And then to have pay $75 for a family of 5 to eat that food....well, that damn near pushes me over the edge.  But, my minis love Panera, so we eat there occasionally.  Mr. McGhee and I always have the Thai Chopped Salad and the minis have soup.

Panera's Thai Chopped Salad
All-natural, antibiotic-free chicken, romaine, Thai cashews, fire-roasted edamame, red peppers, carrots, fresh cilantro & wonton strips all tossed in low-fat Thai Chili Vinaigrette and drizzled with peanut sauce.
Nutrition Information

Since I have my oldest mini home sick today and my oldest mini loves Panera broccoli soup, it only seemed obvious that I make him a batch.  So I got online and found this recipe.

Ingredients (I made a double batch, and I would say it is enough to feed my family for one meal)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar

1.  Saute onion in butter. Set aside.

2.  Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently.
3.  Slowly add the half-and-half, continue stirring.
4.  Add the chicken stock whisking all the time.
5.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

6.  Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
Add salt and pepper.

7.  By now the soup should be thickened.

8.  Pour in batches into blender and puree.

9.  Return the puree to the pot and place over low heat, add the grated cheese; stir until well blended.
Stir in the nutmeg.

The soup is delish!  I thought it tasted just like Panera.  My mini told me it was better, because he could tell it was made with love.  Now you see why I want to spend my days homeschooling him?!?!