I am on a soup roll, obviously. My husband likes his vegetables disguised and this did a great job. Broccoli is not his favorite but he loved this. I used an immersion blender but it is smoother if you use a food processor. Just depends on what texture you want. The cheese is optional.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme and parsley
8 cups chopped broccoli (stems and florets)
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
½ cup whole or fat free milk (optional)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until the butter melts. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add carrot and herbs; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
Stir in broccoli. Add broth; bring to a low boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook until very tender, about 15 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Stir in milk or half-and-half (if using), cheese (if using) and salt and pepper.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.