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Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup [Recipe]

Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup | www.myfoododyssey.com

I quite enjoy being alone. I don’t think I’m a loner – I love good company. But I am also perfectly content to be on my own. I love to get lost in thoughts and dreams – places I might visit someday, famous people I’d like to meet, foods I’d like to try, books I might write. Silence doesn’t bother me. In fact, I quite like it. Silence is not empty to me, but rather it is peaceful.

I guess that’s one of the reasons I like living in the country. We live in a small country village, surrounded by people who know us (even if I’m just “the girl from Ireland”). Our neighbours are polite and friendly and I know I can depend on them in an emergency, but for the most part people keep to themselves. Of course, in my case I have a language barrier which limits my ability to chat with people when I’m out and about. I would love to get to know my neighbours better. But I do love that I can go for a walk in peace and tranquillity, save for an occasional passing tractor or barking dog.

Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup | www.myfoododyssey.com

While we try to live as self-sufficiently as possible here in Lithuania, there are always bills to be paid so we still need an income. We don’t have a well so we need to pay for water. We need electricity for power and heat and gas for cooking. Then there are insurance payments, car maintenance costs, etc. While we hope to someday produce all our own food, we will always have these additional expenses.

Wages here in Lithuania are incredibly low. A typical monthly income for someone working full time is €350 (US$390). No, that’s not a typo – that’s €350 per month. This explains why so many Lithuanians have emigrated and why so many more work outside of Lithuania for weeks or even months at a time. And it explains why I have been alone for the past two weeks while Arūnas was working overseas.

I have to admit I was quite looking forward to the time alone. I have lots of admin work to get through for my blog – stuff that takes ages but needs to get done. I have several writing projects on the go and I really need silence while I’m writing. I have lots of recipe ideas that need to be tested and then photographed. When Arūnas is here he immediately wants to eat anything that I cook. Telling him that he can’t eat it today because I need to take photos never goes down well. The two weeks would just fly by, I was sure. Like a two-week sun holiday, I knew I would relish the time alone for the first 10 days – and then I would really start to miss him.

Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup | www.myfoododyssey.com

Another upside of Arūnas being away is that I get to eat less meat. Arūnas would happily eat meat with every meal whereas I prefer to eat it at most once per day, both for sustainability and for health. I have nothing against eating meat, but there are plenty of other protein sources and I like lots of variety in my diet. Eating less meat also allows me to eat more of one of my favourite foods – cheese.

And so to the soup. This one is pretty easy, although it does require a little chopping. Please, I beg of you, don’t waste the broccoli stalk. They are full of flavour and perfect for using in soup. They can represent up to one third the overall weight of the head so discarding them is also a waste of money. Just trim off the end and any particularly tough bits from the sides, then chop it up small so it cooks quickly.

The cheese adds a delicious creamy texture and richness to this soup. It also makes it very filling. I tend not to eat bread with this soup as it is filling enough by itself, but by all means enjoy a slice of crusty bread on the side. Use a good, sharp cheddar – mature Irish if you can find it. The cheese is the main seasoning in the soup, so it’s essential that it has lots of flavour or the soup will be bland.

Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup | www.myfoododyssey.com

Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

    1 medium head broccoli (about 530 g | 18 oz)
    1 medium potato (about 185 g | 6.5 oz)
    1 medium onion (about 150 g | 5.5 oz)
    3 Tbsp rapeseed (canola) or sunflower oil
    ½ tsp salt
    1 litre water, boiled
    100 g | 3.5 oz mature cheddar, grated *

*Note: In Lithuania, you can now buy mature Irish cheddar in Rimi & Vynoteka.

METHOD:

  1. Rinse the head of broccoli well under running water.
  2. Cut the florets from the broccoli and set aside. Trim the end off the stalk and cut the stalk into 1 cm (½ inch) cubes.
  3. Peel the potato and cut into 1 cm (½ inch) cubes.
  4. Peel the onions and chop into 1 cm (½ inch) pieces.
    Note: having the vegetables all cut to a similar size ensures they cook in the same amount of time.

  5. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan set over a high heat. Add the diced vegetables and stir to coat in the oil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the saucepan with a lid and cook the vegetables very gently for 10 minutes.
  6. While the diced vegetables are cooking, cut the broccoli florets into bit-sized pieces, ensuring they are all roughly the same size.
  7. When the diced vegetables have been cooking for 10 minutes, add the salt, broccoli florets and water to the saucepan. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat and blend with a stick blender, taking care not to splash hot soup.
  9. When the soup is smooth, add the grated cheese and stir well to melt the cheese into the soup. Blend again to ensure the cheese is fully incorporated.
  10. Serve with crusty bread and a generous grinding of black pepper.
  11. This soup will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat in a covered saucepan over a very gentle heat so has not to burn the cheese. Stir frequently while reheating as the cheese can stick to the base of the saucepan.

The mugs featured in the photographs are by Paul Maloney, a potter from Wexford. This post is not sponsored in any way by Paul – I just thought that since I loved these mugs enough to bring them all the way from Ireland, I might as well give him a shout out!

Like what you see? Then please subscribe to My Food Odyssey. For updates on my daily life you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup | www.myfoododyssey.com


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Creamy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup | www.myfoododyssey.com
24 Comments Post a comment
  1. I must say we have a lot in common June. As I was reading this I was thinking this is me. I enjoy my alone time as I enjoy being social. Both are great for the soul. And I am excited to try this soup recipe. I have one already but have been looking to make it better. We have snow coming in tomorrow, a perfect day for a bowl of hot soup! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 14, 2016
    • One of the things I love about blogging is seeing how many people experience the same things. It’s fascinating. Soup is perfect for snowy days, especially if you serve it in a mug to warm up your hands. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 14, 2016
  2. Looks so good and healthy! Enjoy your quiet time. I like alone time, too. It clears my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 12, 2016
  3. This looks so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 11, 2016
  4. Just now reading this blog and i commented to my husband about how rare you two are in the world – not bitter about things, living within your means with an eye to the future – that is so rare anymore. So many young people (in the US anyway) want it all straight out of high school or uni without ‘paying their dues.’ We both admire your journey together and wish you all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 10, 2016
    • Thanks Tauna. We knew what we were getting into when we chose to move here, but for us the upside outweighs any negatives and keeps us smiling. We’re pretty happy with our lot. And, sure, absence makes the heart grow fonder! Thanks for taking the time to leave such a nice comment – it’s much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 10, 2016
  5. gvalentine2015sedboro #

    This might sound odd…but I could almost eat that photo of the mug of soup.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 10, 2016
    • Then my work is done… 😉

      Like

      February 10, 2016
  6. I keep staring at that picture of the broccoli…. so beautiful 🙂

    Now… where’s my soup….

    Liked by 1 person

    February 10, 2016
    • Yeh, the close-up of the florets is pretty hypnotic. Who knew vegetables could be so beautiful?! I know you’re normally a cake woman, but this soup is worth trying. Cheddar is YUM!

      Like

      February 10, 2016
  7. Beautiful soup and mugs, have never had cheddar, but I’m sure I’d enjoy it. Our lives seem pretty similar, living in a foreign land for love, enjoying the silence, creative ideas – minus growing my own food, and missing amore only during the days. I often think I should start trying out recipes, but I have a bad feeling that I’d be eating more in this way as well – I would, but good things that I’d make myself. Also he loves to cook so much and so often that I really don’t get much of a chance. Wishing us well.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 10, 2016
    • Thanks Manja! I actually think you eat less when you prepare food yourself (as opposed to buying pre-prepared food) because of the time and care that goes into cooking it. But who knows! It really is worth finding some good cheddar for this soup – it adds so much to the flavour. Enjoy it if you try it!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 10, 2016
  8. We have a lot in common 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    February 9, 2016
  9. I was looking for this soup long time.. Thanks for sharing.. Planning to try soon..

    Liked by 1 person

    February 9, 2016
  10. I read your take on being alone with interest. As you know, I too live mostly in a small village surrounded by local people, with a (decreasing) language barrier and on my own. I thought would hate it because I had fallen for others’ take that I am very sociable and I do enjoy company but I discovered by being forced to be on my own that I actually really like being on my own and that I am not lonely. Which brings me to the here and now. Living with my husband in an English speaking country has been a shock on many levels. However, he does travel and the next time he does I will be reaching for this soup … he doesn’t eat cooked cheese but I love it and I simply must try this. Bonne retrouvailles when Arūnas comes home 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    February 9, 2016
    • He’s just back, Osyth, and I’m quite a happy bunny! I think it’s interesting, the difference between “lonely” and “alone”. You can feel lonely when in company and energised when alone. It’s completely down to the individual (and sometimes hormones!), though – I don’t think any two people feel exactly the same way. Enjoy the soup – it’s YUM!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 9, 2016
      • Believe me I am sitting fantasising about the soup! I get to craving cooked cheese but my hubby can’t tolerate the smell (except bizarrely blue and mozzarella which is virtually odourless) …. But I also crave him so I’ll forego the yearning and have a disgraceful bi he next time he’s away 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        February 9, 2016
  11. Frances Onaitis Tennant #

    I slice the more tender parts of stalks (about 1/8″) and use them in salads. I use 1/4″ slices in stir fry dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 9, 2016
    • Great idea, Frances. I like the inner part raw, too. As long as it’s not wasted, I’m happy!

      Like

      February 9, 2016

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  1. Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Soup [Recipe] | My Food Odyssey
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  3. Quick & Easy Tomato Lentil Soup [Recipe] | My Food Odyssey

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