3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced (3/4 cup)
1 cup diced carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 cups 2% milk (or whole milk)
2½ - 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
8 oz. block cheddar cheese*, freshly grated, plus more for serving
cayenne pepper, for serving, optional
In a large dutc
h oven, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add onion and carrots, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft.
Stir in the garlic and cook for additional 30 seconds.
Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer, then simmer for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Add broccoli, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until tender.
Turn off the heat, discard the bay leaf, and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted. Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, topped with extra cheese and cayenne pepper, if desired.
*Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. It's much creamier and melts way better than pre-shredded cheese from the store.
*Only melt cheese over low heat or it will separate and look grainy.
*This soup is best when served immediately. It does not re-heat or freeze well.