For a soup that tastes just like restaurant-style broccoli cheddar soup, use Velveeta in this recipe. If you prefer not to use Velveeta, substitute 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese. Add the cheddar in four stages, allowing the cheese to melt into the soup between each addition.
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion (5 ounces), finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
- ¼ cup sweet rice flour
- 4 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought gluten-free reduced-sodium broth
- 1½ cups whole or 2% milk
- 1 16-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli
- 1 large carrot (2 ounces), peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces Velveeta, cut into smaller cubes (see note above)
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until translucent and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Continue to stir frequently. Add the mustard and stir to combine.
Stir in the sweet rice flour until a paste forms. Cook, stirring constantly, until the paste is a light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock in a slow and steady stream. Whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, then add the broccoli, carrot, hot pepper sauce and black pepper. Simmer (look for occasional gentle bubbles) for 30 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli from the soup to a blender or food processor. Add a generous splash of soup, about ½ cup. (Don’t fill the blender more than halfway. Work in batches if you have a small blender.) Blend until the broccoli is almost smooth but not a paste.
Return the broccoli to the soup. Stir to combine. Add the Velveeta. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the Velveeta is melted (see note above). Season to taste with salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve. Store leftover soup in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Elizabeth Barbone, author of the cookbooks Easy Gluten-Free Baking and How to Cook Gluten-Free, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs at glutenfreebaking.com.
Nutrition Analysis: 260 cal, 15 g fat, 40 mg chol, 690 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 12 g protein