Cheesy Broccoli Soup

This week has been a nightmare, and it's only Tuesday. I was handed some new, unexpected, unwelcome responsibilities at work, and that has sent me home with a headache on top of a 12 hour work day for the last two days. I'm more than a little cranky, and then last night I got home to a 50 degree house and today I got home to an 80 degree house. I'm just DONE. This soup definitely improved my mood. Based on this one, but I made several changes. Pardon the crappy picture, it's from my phone and unedited.

2 Tlbs butter
1/4 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
3 Tlbs whole wheat flour
1 cup half and half*
1 cup chicken broth
1-ish cup shredded carrots
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
tiny bit of salt
1 broccoli crown, chopped
about 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
about 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion. Saute it for a couple of minutes, then add the flour, stirring constantly. Add the half and half and chicken broth and bring to just barely a simmer. Turn it down to low and add the carrots, nutmeg, cardamom, salt and pepper. Let it gently simmer, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, until the carrots are softened somewhat. Use your immersion blender and blend the soup until the carrots are broken down, then add the broccoli and let it continue to simmer for a few minutes until the broccoli is nearly the right texture (for me, that was only 3-4 minutes). Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup is smooth. Serve immediately.

* the original recipe called for 1 cup of half and half and one cup of milk, I had half and half, and I don't normally, so I used it. It would honestly probably be just as good with regular milk, but you might also use Greek yogurt and milk as a substitute. It was amazing with half and half.

The original recipe called for hot sauce, and that would probably be really good, although I might add red pepper flakes instead of hot sauce. Also, she added the broccoli at the same time as the carrots, but I think that would make the broccoli really soggy and over cooked. Adding the broccoli at the end was perfect, in my opinion. Also, she didn't blend it, but I wanted something smoother. She also used velveeta (ew), and Colby Jack, which I didn't have.

Rating? 5/5
Why? It was probably related to my mood, but I needed something cheesy and comforting and this really hit the savory spot.

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