Soup season is upon us! This is my take on a commonly known broccoli cheese soup, but using my favorite cheese; pepper jack. The pepper jack will give it a slight kick, but if you want to take a up a notch, add in a pinch of crushed chili pepper. I didn't add the dash of crushed chili pepper into the pot but I did enjoy a little in my own bowl.
See, although personally I am a big fan a spicy foods, having children taught me to mellow out the flavors in recipes.. a lot. Luckily, it's also forced me to find back doors to sneakily inject flavor where it may not otherwise be as colorful. Ok, maybe that's saying too much about simply changing the cheese in this well known soup, but I'm telling you- it makes a difference! Don't be afraid to step outside of the circle and try something new in your kitchen. That's what makes it so much fun! Enjoy.
Pepper Jack Broccoli Chowder
3 cups chicken broth (my version here)
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large (or 2 small) carrot, shredded
3 broccoli heads, cut into small florets
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot over medium heat, add butter. When butter is melted, add the chopped onion and saute until translucent but not browned, about 3 minutes. Then, add the flour and stir, cooking about 1-2 minutes. Mixture will become thick and hard to stir.
2. Switch to a whisk. Turn the heat to high, then add the milk and heavy cream, whisking constantly and cooking until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly. Add chicken broth, ground nutmeg, broccoli florets and shredded carrots. Let it come to a boil again.
3. Once it comes to a boil again, turn off the heat and add in the shredded pepper jack cheese. Let it melt into the chowder, then taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed (depending on how salty your broth and cheese was). Chowder will thicken as it cools. Enjoy.