2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder, to taste
3 cups milk (I used 1%)
1 - 2 cups shredded cheese (used low-fat)
2 cups steamed broccoli florets
few Tbsp of cooking water
Begin by melting the butter in a high sided skillet and mixing with the flour to create a roux. Once it starts bubbling whisk in the milk until everything is combined. Add the pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste. Do not add any salt yet because the cheese contains a lot of salt. Once the milk comes up to temperature add between 1 - 2 cups of shredded cheese, depending on strength. I personally like an extra sharp cheddar cheese so I can usually get away with 1 or 1 1/2 cups of cheese. If using a milder cheese it may require upwards of 2 cups. Stir until cheese is melted. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt now if required.
In a separate pot steam about 2 cups of broccoli florets. In your blender, or in a bowl, combine the cheese mixture and the cooked broccoli with a few tablespoons of the steaming water. Puree or blend with a stick blender until smooth. You can reserve a few florets or cheese shreds to place on top as a garnish.
This freezes well. Just thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in a covered pot on the stove, stirring frequently. If it has thickened, simply whisk in a few tablespoons of milk to loosen. We served with sandwich halves for a light dinner.
You are not limited to just adding steamed broccoli! Pureed cauliflower or carrots, possibly diced, cooked potatoes would be good in this soup as well.
I'm submitting this to Laura's "Just Another Meatless Monday." A sharing of meatless entrees and snacks to inspire and be inspired every week!