How’s that extra hour treatin’ ya?! Flying back to the east coast as often as I do I normally am not that effected by a time change, but for some reason when the time switched on Sunday morning I woke up at 4:30 am! It might have something to do with the fact that I took a 3 hour nap the day before (don’t judge), but regardless it was crazy that I felt so awake that early in the morning! I had the most productive day ever, obviously since I started 5 hours earlier than a usual Sunday. I got up and got all my coffee drinking/Netflix binging/laziness out of the way, then I went for a run, and grocery shopped at two stores all before 11 AM! I also wanted a bottle of Cognac for cooking (er, sipping), so I showed up to the liquor store at 10:30 not thinking and had to wait outside for 30 minutes…awkwaaard. No biggie, just hanging out at the corner liquor store first thing on a Sunday morning 🙋🏼♀️
I made two recipes over the weekend that i’m excited about!! I watched Julie & Julia Sunday morning (since I was up at the butt-crack of dawn) so felt compelled to cook something with a lot of butter & garlic, so I made coq au vin with creamy red mashed potatoes. You’re literally going to want to bathe yourself in the coq au vin sauce – not joking. The 2nd recipe I cooked up was broccoli cheddar soup – a fan favorite, everyone’s Panera go-to, and your best friend in the wintertime. I LOVE a good broccoli ched soup, and don’t get me wrong, heavy cream and cheese is my lovvaa, but a lot of times it doesn’t leaving me feeling the greatest. So I wanted to make something that was way healthier but felt just as indulgent. Best of both worlds! I adapted this recipe from Elizabeth but just tweaked it to make it slightlyyy more unhealthy by adding dairy 😄
And guys….this carrot potato cheese sauce will blow your mind. Thank god I was just feeding this soup to Thomas because I literally licked the spatula at least 10 times before dunking it back into the sauce…whoops.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1 ½ tups of diced golden Yukon potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
2 large carrots (4 medium sized), peeled and roughly diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of vinegar (white wine or red wine vinegar works)
salt to taste
1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese (omit if making vegan)
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2-3 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups of chopped broccoli heads, plus more for garnish
pinch or two of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
3 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth if not vegetarian)
½ cup of chopped green onions
In a large saucepan add golden Yukon potatoes and carrots. Fill pot with water until vegetables are just covered. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain carrots and potatoes and add to a blender or Vitamix. Add in garlic cloves, olive oil, white wine vinegar, grated cheddar cheese, and salt to taste. Blend cheese base mixture for 30-60 seconds or until smooth and creamy. Reserve ½-1/2 cup for soup garnish and set aside the rest.
In a large dutch oven heat olive oil one medium heat for 30 seconds. Add in diced onion and celery stalks. Sauté mixture for a few minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add in garlic and sauté a couple minutes more. To the same pot add the chopped broccoli and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in cayenne or red pepper flakes, a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and stir together. Add broth and cover pot for 15 minutes. (For the garnish, I took a couple pieces of broccoli out of the pot after it had cooked for a couple minutes).
Transfer the entire mixture with a ladle into large blender or Vitamix and add in cheese sauce. You may need to do this in two batches. Blend soup for 30-60 seconds or until smoothness level is achieved (I like it a little chunky but mostly smooth). You can always add in a little almond milk or more broth if it’s too thick for your liking. Transfer soup back to the pot and heat on low or serve right away. Top soup bowls with a few tablespoons of remaining cheese sauce, green onions and chopped broccoli. Enjoy!