Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepperto taste
Melt the butter and heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the onions and carrots with a small pinch of salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent; about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the flour. Cook the rawness out of the flour; about 2 minutes.
Next, stir in the vegetable broth, the half and half, and mustard. Cook until the soup reaches a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the broccoli and cheese. Stir well to combine. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to blend up the soup (if desired). Use short pulses moving the blender through the soup to puree as much or as little as you would like until it reaches your desired consistency.
Serve warm with extra cheese if desired.
Tips For Making This Soup
Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free flour or use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in place of the flour.
Frozen Broccoli: you can use frozen broccoli if that's what you have. It will just take a little longer to cook and warm through.
Avoid Clumps: To keep the cheese from clumping shredding it fresh, adding a little at a time until well incorporated.
Do Not Boil! Make sure you simmer the soup and slowly warm it through. If the heat is too high the soup can curdle and become grainy and will not be smooth.
Salting the Soup: Broccoli cheese soup is known to be high in sodium. Wait until the very end to season the soup and make sure you taste it with each addition of salt.
Blending: Blending this soup is completely optional. If you don't have an immersion blender alternatively you can use a regular blender to blend the soup. Just allow it to cool slightly.
Smoked Paprika: The smoked paprika adds a hint of smokiness. If you don't have it, it won't hurt to leave it out.
Storing Broccoli Cheese Soup: Unfortunately, this soup DOES NOT freeze well. You can store the soup sealed tightly in an air-tight container for 3 to 4 days, not that it will last that long.Reheating: Only reheat what you want to eat. You can warm in the microwave in 1-minute intervals stirring well between each interval. Or warm on the stove over low heat and bring the temperature up slowly, stirring occasionally.
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