Califonia Bountiful
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Broccoli and cheese soup

Broccoli and cheese soup

Ingredients

1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups chopped cooked broccoli (see note)
1 cup shredded cheddar
Croutons (optional)


Sunshine Care's gardens abound with beautiful heads of broccoli throughout winter and spring, according to horticulture manager Roy Wilburn. "Nothing beats the flavor when placed on the table right after cutting from the gardens," he said.

Directions

In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté celery and onion in butter until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper, cooking and stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add broth and cream. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add broccoli and stir until mixture is heated through. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted and smooth. Serve with croutons and more cheese, if desired.

Note: Chef Acosta recommends steaming the broccoli and then cooling it in cold water to preserve its color.

Serves 6