I probably can’t even describe how much I love this soup – every single version of it. You see, this one recipe can be broken down into 3 different soups. Or you could say that I took 3 different versions and threw them all together to create soup nirvana. Because that’s what this is.
Soup is one of my super quick weeknight meals. It’s all technique. When you get the technique down, you can make just about any creamy soup on the planet. This one is a combo of potato soup, broccoli cheddar soup, and ham and cheese soup. I don’t have super picky kids, so I thought I’d put them all in the same pot. It worked.
The trick to creamy soups is to thicken at the right time. For this one, I use a combination of flour and the starch from the potatoes to thicken it up. I first mix the flour with the milk to remove any clumps and I add it in the hot soup. In order for the soup to thicken, it has to come back up to a simmer.
Some people will use a blender or an immersion blender to blend up a little bit of the soup and then add it back in. For this one, I like a potato masher. I like the chunks. I never want anyone to have a completely pureed soup, so I don’t even suggest it.
The next trick is to turn off the heat before adding the cheese. If the soup is too hot, the cheese will break, or curdle. Gross – so I add it with the ham, which should be cold and that helps cool down the soup, but also is warm enough to melt the cheese.
What you get is soup perfection. And remember, once you have the technique down, your imagination can take you to your next soup adventure. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 large russet potato, diced into 1/4″ cubes
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups reduced fat milk
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1.5 cups diced low sodium ham
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- In a medium to large stock pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat
- Add onions and carrots and sauté for 3 minutes
- Add potatoes and broccoli florets and sauté for an additional 3 minutes
- Add stock and salt, turn up heat to medium high and bring to a simmer or light boil
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are slightly soft
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, add the flour to the milk and whisk until smooth
- Turn the heat to medium and add milk
- With a potato masher, smash some of the potatoes down – the soup will start to thicken
- Bring the soup back to simmer – as soon as it starts to simmer, turn the heat off and add the cheese and ham
- Stir until smooth and add the chives
- Allow the soup to rest for 5 minutes to thicken more