Broccoli "Cheez" Soup

My mother reminded me a couple of years ago that in college I was a big fan of broccoli cheese soup. I recalled that I’d order it for lunch from a restaurant near the record store I worked in and my mother would put cans of the Campbells variety in the care packages she made for me, but my favorite way to enjoy it was in bread bowls at the Renaissance Festival. So I decided to veganize this old favorite, which turned out to be very easy to do and very tasty!

I’ve been making this meal for a couple of years now, but why I chose one of the first days it feels as hot as summer – and Mark’s whining about the heat hasn’t yet turned so insistent that I agree to turn the air conditioning on – to make what is usually cold-weather comfort food, I do not know. But we ate it both Saturday and Sunday for dinner and Mark was disappointed when there were no seconds available on Sunday, so even if you live in a climate that’s currently turning to summer, don’t be disinclined to try it. Even if you want to serve it in bread bowls as I did and baking bread heats up your kitchen to some hellish temperature.

Broccoli Cheez Soup

1 large onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock or vegan “chicken” broth (I’ve used the “chicken” stock here despite the fact that it used to really piss me off when restaurants would use chicken stock in an otherwise vegetarian soup)
2 small or 1 large head of broccoli
1/2 recipe pimiento cheez

Chop the broccoli, including the stems. You don’t need to be neat about separating the florets because most of them will be pureed. Heat a large pot on medium heat, then warm a little bit of oil and add the onions.

Saute the onions until begining to turn brown.

(Mine look extra brown in places because it was at this time when I discovered I couldn’t reach my server and I was away from the kitchen for longer than I’d anticipated.)

Add the broccoli and the broth or stock.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until broccoli is very soft. Add the cheez.

Heat for 5 more minutes or until cheez is melted.

Puree, making it as smooth or chunky as you like.

As I’ve mentioned before, an immersion blender is great for this type of thing, however, if you are considering buying one, do NOT under any circumstances buy the Cuisinart CSB-77 Smart Stick Hand Blender. I have gone through TWO of them. They both worked for about 3 uses, then the blade stopped turning (the motor sounds fine). I can see what the problem is (two pieces of metal are not making contact as they should), but both of them had the same problem and neither one lasted a month. (If anyone wants to recommend another brand, please do so!)

If you don’t have an immersion blender, like me, suddenly, let the soup cool down before pureeing in batches in a blender or food processor. I know I stress this repeatedly, but do not put hot liquids into a blender, and even when blending warm liquids, fill the blender only half full. I pureed three batches and left a fourth un-pureed so I’d have some bits of broccoli floating around.

Serve in bread bowls.

Note: if you make a full batch of the pimiento cheez, one suggestion I have for the leftover cheez is to use it in a burrito, as I did for lunch today. I mashed up a can of pinto beans, added some of the leftover pimiento cheez and some salsa, and microwaved it for about 3 minutes. Roll up in a tortilla with chopped onions, leftover rice if you have any, and some hot sauce. Super-fast burrito!

7 Comments »

  1. Alexis Said,

    June 3, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

    I have a Braun Multiquick immersion hand blender. I love it. Sturdy and strong.

  2. renae Said,

    June 3, 2008 @ 9:25 pm

    Thanks – I will check that one out. I was so furious when that thing broke on Saturday!

  3. Sarah Said,

    June 4, 2008 @ 12:20 am

    Oh my gosh! That looks delicious, you’ve reminded me that I love that soup too. I will be trying this, and the cheese, looks amazing.

  4. Julie Said,

    June 4, 2008 @ 12:36 am

    OOO Looks so creamy!

  5. Melissa Said,

    June 4, 2008 @ 6:03 pm

    Just a word of warning to you when using the Better than Bouillon bases, don’t serve this to your migraine-prone friends! I used it for years until finally figuring out that Better than Bouillon was the culprit of some of my migraines. It has hydrolyzed soy protein in it, which is laden with MSG. There’s a nice little write-up about hydrolyzed soy protein here: http://www.soyinfo.com/soydefs.shtml. I’ve been using Bryanna’s Vegan Chicken Broth Powder w/pretty good results instead (http://www.veganrepresent.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-383.html).

    Cheers, thanks much for your posts! They’re great!

  6. renae Said,

    June 4, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

    Thanks, Melissa, I’ll definitely keep that in mind. I’ve actually been meaning to try Bryanna’s recipe since she posted it on her blog a little while ago, so thanks for reminding me!

  7. meg Said,

    January 23, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

    Renae, I wish you had contact information on your site somewhere! I wasn’t looking to comment but, alas, I must. I just want to say that this food blog (the whole thing, not simply this single post (but also particularly this single post)) is utterly amazing. I absolutely love how you are so dedicated to the entire delicious process, from making your own soy milk/tofu, to your adorable cats. You’ve honestly inspired me to be more adventurous (well, certainly more adventurous at more appropriate times) in my making the switch to becoming vegan… and you’re recipes give me ideas in helping convert my hubby, as well! Please never stop making this wonderful blog, it is my favorite! Also, love the posts with the ridiculous pictures of your husband. You both seem to be such wonderful and light-hearted people and I greatly appreciate the ‘positive vibes’ you’ve got going. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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