Rachel Getting Hungry: Broccoli Cheddar Soup & Oktoberfest Beer Bread

by Rachel on September 21, 2010

[As I promised yesterday, I am sharing my healthy broccoli cheese soup recipe! But if you haven’t voted yet, please do — voting is open for two more days! I was browsing the entries last night and I’m pretty sure mine is the only one to contain the words “vibrator,” “shit show,” and “baby killer.” Also, don’t try to vote twice! The “399 votes left” thing means you can vote for 399 other people still.]

I was away from my apartment for most of last week, staying at Eric’s so I could use his car. When I finally got home on Saturday night, all I wanted to do was spend some time cooking in my kitchen. Alone. For myself. I love cooking for other people and believe me, I love what happens when I have to wait while the oven pre-heats when I’m at Eric’s place…but I also love what happens when I’m alone in my kitchen, making a huge mess and licking my fingers as I go.

I spent Sunday morning reading magazines and browsing online to find the perfect stay-in-the-kitchen Sunday recipe, and I finally decided I wanted soup. Yes, it’s still pretty warm here, but I can eat soup year-round, and I love cooking it. I settled on this broccoli cheddar soup from an old, old issue of Cooking Light.

I was in the mood for a little more cooking than that, so I decided I’d make a loaf of homemade beer bread to go with it.

For the soup…

1 tsp real butter

1 cup chopped onion

Two garlic cloves, minced

3 cups of fat-free, no-sodium chicken broth

1  (16-ounce) package of frozen broccoli florets (you can thaw them to save some time, but it’s not a huge deal)

2 and 1/2 cups 2 percent milk

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp black pepper

8 ounces light processed cheese (I went with Velveeta 2 percent cheese — it’s actually not in the refrigerated section, just FYI) , cut into cubes

For the bread…

3 cups flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1.5 cups beer

Optional glaze: 1 egg, 2 tsp water, beaten

I wasn’t sure what beer I wanted to go with, but since it’s fall, I went with a local Oktoberfest beer.

Now put on your apron and let’s do this!

First, pre-heat the oven to 375 and make the bread by combining all the ingredients. It’s really that simple. If you decide to use the egg glaze, I recommend only using half of it. That’s what I did this time, and I didn’t end up with a scrambled egg on top.

(It also occurred to me just now that you could probably very easily make beer bread bowls for the soup! Just fashion the dough into large balls and bake; when done, cut out the tops, Panera-style.)

Put the bread in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes.

While it cooks, chop the onion and garlic and cube the cheese. The soup doesn’t take too long to make, so you might want to wait until the bread has been baking for about thirty minutes to get things started. When you’re ready, heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the butter. Then add the garlic and onion and saute it for about three minutes.

Next add the broth and broccoli; bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce it to medium and let it cook for ten minutes.

The bread will probably be done before the soup is, in all its drunken golden glory!

You’re going to let it cool for ten minutes in the pan and then ten minutes out of the pan, so that is OK!

Meanwhile, combine the milk and flour and stir with a whisk until it’s well-blended. (Seriously, blend it — my flour all settled to the bottom and I had no idea. Oops!) Add that to the broccoli mixture and cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the pepper and remove from heat, then add the cheese and stir until the cheese melts.

Then the fun/dangerous part: if you don’t have an immersion blender, scoop about a third of the soup into a blender or Magic Bullet — what I did because apparently my immersion blender is still in Michigan — and blend until smooth. Then return the soup to the pot and stir.

Slice the bread and get your butter ready!

And then serve yourself right.

healthy broccoli cheese soup

I will be eating this soup for days, then re-making it to eat for months to come! And just FYI, a cup only has 150 calories and a good amount of protein and calcium, which is the start to a great lunch. Plus, it’s lower in sodium than most store-bought or cafe-bought soups!

And the Oktoberfest beer bread was great, as I expected. I love this recipe because it’s so cheap and you can make it with any type of beer or flour. This was my first time straying from Bud Light, and the beer flavor was more pronounced this time. That’s totally not a bad thing though — I don’t know about you, but I love it when my lunch brings back the slightest memories of frat parties.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Di September 21, 2010 at 8:45 am

Must. Make. Beer. Bread.

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2 C.J. September 21, 2010 at 8:58 am

Yum! I can’t wait to make this this week. Definitely sounds better than the recipe I had. Thanks for sharing!

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3 Sarah September 21, 2010 at 9:07 am

this soup sounds amazing! this and some reality tv are totally my idea of a thrilling night!!

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4 Stina September 21, 2010 at 9:14 am

Have you ever tried making the soup with a shredded cheddar or other kind of cheese? I hate Velveeta, but I’ve got a bunch of broccoli that needs to be used quick!

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5 Rachel September 21, 2010 at 10:52 am

I haven’t! I think it’s important that the cheese melt well, that’s the main thing. I wanted to try it with goat cheese, but I had no idea how that would be. I think it would def work with shredded though! Let me know if you try it.

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6 Stephanie @ Single in the City September 21, 2010 at 9:23 am

Broccoli cheese soup is my favorite and baked potato soup is a very close second. *drool*

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7 Laura September 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

That bread looks so freakin’ good. You don’t need yeast or anything? I want to make it tonight!

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8 Laura September 21, 2010 at 11:28 am

Haha, nevermind. I answered my own question. Beer = yeast.

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9 Kat Cooper September 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

Want to try this, but can’t do onions at all. :( I know it would reduce some of the flavor, but do you think it would still work without them?

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10 Rachel September 21, 2010 at 11:48 am

I think so!! Definitely worth a shot! Maybe do some garlic instead?

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11 zenlizzie September 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm

This meal seems totally doable, and I loooove homemade bread and soup. I’ve never tried broccoli, but I got addicted to that V8 broccoli soup-in-a-box a few years ago. It was a pricey habit.

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12 Summer September 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I have a Harpoon Oktoberfest just chillin’ in my fridge…I’ll be making the bread tonight! I echo Stina’s comment—can you use something other than Velveeta?

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13 Summer September 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

NM…just saw your response after I posted my comment.

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14 Secondhand Smash September 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Literally drooling…

Would love to see you do a healthy [if possible] beer cheese soup [my faaaave].

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15 Rachel September 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Oooh…I will investigate that!!

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16 C.J. September 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm

So I just made this.
1. It’s delicious
2. I used regular block yellow cheddar. I just cubed it and threw it in. This worked great, but just an FYI all the cheese will melt to the bottom of the pot if you don’t continuously stir it up.

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17 Rachel September 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Oh I am so glad you made it and thanks for sharing!! I almost used block yellow cheddar, so this is good to know!

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18 Manon September 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Slobbering…..I’m totally make this this weekend!

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19 Amanda September 27, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I made both of these last night. I’m a vegetarian and it’s been years since I’ve had broccoli and cheddar soup because it is always made with chicken stock. I just subbed vegetable broth in this recipe and it turned out great! The beer bread is TO DIE FOR… I can’t believe how easy it was to make a loaf of bread!

Thanks for the awesome recipe. I’m going to try your chicken salad recipe with crispy tofu later this week (when the soup is gone!).

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20 Megan H September 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Looks great! You totally inspired me to make myself a batch of B&C Soup this weekend! I gave you a shout out in my post :)

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21 Trinidad Pena September 30, 2010 at 11:27 am

Did you make it to the next round? I might’ve missed it because I was on vacation.

Oh and I’m making this tonight. I’m tempted to make the bread bowls but I’ve never made bread before so I might just K.I.S.S. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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22 Trinidad Pena September 30, 2010 at 11:31 am

Oh… Any calorie counts on the bread?

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23 Craft Beer October 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Wow, your recipe make my mouth watery, especially the Oktoberfest Beer Bread. I would try that one while drinking a beer. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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24 Jenn November 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I just caved and made the bread–I wanted to go for the duo, but caved when the local broccoli was looking shady. One note–grease that pan! My bread stuck beyond belief, but was otherwise every bit as tasty as white flour and beer should be!

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25 Jo November 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm

such an amazing recipe… yuuum. thanks! I paired the broccoli & cheese soup with cornbread but i’ll definetely have to try the beer bread sometime soon.

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26 Rachel November 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm

So glad you made it and liked it!!

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27 April January 4, 2011 at 1:46 am

I was really craving some healthy comfort food when I came across your site. I made this meal exactly as you suggested, but used fat free skim milk in the soup. It was a delicious dinner! Two of us ate tonight, and I have lunch for the next two days. Thanks!

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28 Rachel January 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm

That’s awesome!! I’m so glad you liked it!

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29 kgraham126 January 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I just tried this bread and it didn’t rise at all! I used whole wheat flour and Fat Tire beer. Any suggestions?? :(

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30 JodieG September 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I have to start out by saying…I am a blog ‘stalker’, I NEVER lever comments but I had to HAD TO tell you how great these recipes are :D I made the soup exactly how you said and to the bread I added 1/2 shreaded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup minced jalapenos and 2 strips diced bacon. It made such a hearty, delicious dinner! Even my ‘meat and potatoes’ only hubby felt totally full. He said he didnt even mind not having meat. So thanks for the awesome recipes, definatly something I’m going to make over and over and over.

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31 Rachel September 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

So glad you came out of Lurkville and said hello! Those bread add-ins sound DELICIOUS! I will definitely have to give that a try sometime.

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