Comfort Classics: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

There’s nothing like a warm bowl of broccoli cheddar soup to indulge in. It goes great when eaten with bread and even better paired with nothing other than a homemade bread bowl. I first had this delicious dish at Panera Bread and learned how to make it soon after, because nothing beats fresh ingredients. I’ve also tried it at McAllister’s, yet theirs lacked the rich creaminess I had gotten used to and reminded me how much I loved this original and home cooked recipe. In restaurants, we are always limited to one bowl and if we crave another, then we would have to buy it again. If only soup was served like drinks, with free refills. On the other hand, at home, you can gladly pour yourself another bowl of this creamy deliciousness with nothing stopping you. You are limitless.

Homemade bread bowls compliment this soup like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For a quick and easy recipe that is hard to resist, check out my previous post on how to make the perfect bread bowl!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
  • 4 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 8 ounces (about 2 ½ cups) sharp cheddar cheese
  • Optional: French bread, baguette, bread bowls

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onions and cook until softer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the flour and stir frequently for about 3 minutes using a wooden spoon or a whisk. It will start to thicken and look clumpy as the butter absorbs the flour.
  4. Gradually add the heavy cream, whisking constantly, until smooth before each addition.
  5. Stir in the chicken broth, bay leaves, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low heat so that it can simmer for about 20 minutes. You will notice it start to thicken.
  7. Add in the chopped broccoli and carrots. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Discard the bay leaves.
  8. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender or standing blender to puree the soup to your liking.
  9. Add in the shredded cheese and mix until melted and incorporated.

Tips:

*For quicker results you can use frozen broccoli and carrots. I always recommend fresh ingredients if the time permits for maximum flavor potential

*If desired, a healthier version can be made by subbing the heavy cream for low fat/fat free milk.

*Doubling this recipe ensures leftovers for the next day, so definitely something to ponder over

*Test taste the soup throughout the process and add more spices and seasoning if you see fitted

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Pileup of Ingredients

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Along the Way

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Enjoy!

 

 

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Mini Pumpkin Pies

pumpkin pie

Got empty graham crusts in your pantry waiting to be filled? I did. My first thought was to make a coconut cream pie. Ah but I was missing one ingredient!! I wasn’t in the mood though to go out to buy one thing. After searching through recipe after recipe, I found this heavenly pumpkin pie for which I already had everything! I am just in love with the small size too. No worries about cutting the perfect slice.

I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this fall season so keep posted to see what other delights will be coming soon!

Printable Recipe Here

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Ingredients

  • 12 mini graham cracker crusts
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (5 ounce) can  of evaporated milk

Directions:

Preheat: 350 F

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, pumpkin spice, egg, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and evaporated milk
  2. Put the pre-made crusts on a baking sheet and fill with the pumpkin pie mixture
  3.  Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until the filling no longer jiggles when you shake it

Homemade Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Whip the cream until stiff peaks are about to form
  2. Mix in the sugar and vanilla extract until peaks form
  3. Scoop into a piping bag with a fitted tip and place one star on each cooled pie

Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction

Tips

-You can find the pre-made graham crusts in the baking aisle (Walmart, Kroger, etc)

-Wait for the pumpkin pies to cool before icing them so that the icing does not melt off

-If you want to try a variation of this recipe, try Nutella Pumpkin Pie from a previous post of mine here

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Got a pack of raspberries laying around with no idea what to do with all of them? Don’t worry, SimplyDelicious can help you with this dilemma. It just so happened when I opened the fridge on a fine Sunday afternoon, that I was greeted with a stack of three raspberry packs. Just the previous day, I had discovered this amazing vanilla cupcake recipe. Seriously, it legit made the best vanilla cupcakes that I have ever tasted. So… I thought, why not make this delicious recipe raspberry flavored too? Now, I easily could have eaten all the raspberries too, rather than make cupcakes. I had to control myself though and think of the end product that was so close. That’s what’s so awesome about cupcakes. You make them quick, eat them quick. Done deal. Other desserts, like cheesecakes, make you wait overnight (way to0 long if you want instant pleasure).

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (6 oz) raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
  2. Add in the butter until the mixture resembles wet and crumbly sand
  3. Beat in the eggs until they are well incorporated and you can no longer see the yellow
  4. Put in the remaining wet ingredients (milk, sour cream, butter, vanilla extract) and mix until the texture of your mixture is smooth and fully combined
  5. Hand mix the raspberries into your batter until they are evenly distributed
  6. Fill the cupcake liners half way with the mixture
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or golden brown

Raspberry Buttercream

Printable Recipe here 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor
  2. Pour the processed raspberries through a sieve with small holes to keep the seeds from getting in your frosting
  3. Use a spoon to help you get all the raspberry pulp out and set it aside in a small bowl (throw the seeds away)
  4. Cream the butter with a mixer for about a minute and then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time
  5. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and pureed raspberries
  6. If the buttercream is too runny, add in more powdered sugar until it is to your liking. If too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time.

Recipes adapted from: Tide & Thyme and Baking a Moment

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes    Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Feast: Homemade Cupcakes & Ice Cream

The best part about this season has definitely got to be all the pumpkin spiced desserts and drinks out. Most commonly known are probably the famous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes or those Sprinkles Pumpkin Spice cupcakes. Even grocery stores are swimming with this unique flavor in generic cakes, cupcakes, pies, etc. It was crazy, but I actually found a cream cheese that was pumpkin flavored. It tasted pretty normal, just with the pumpkin spice flavor added in. The best though was the Pumpkin Pecan creamer, which was just perfect with my morning coffee. I know… I’m on a pumpkin flow here haha.

Of course it’s nice seeing all these delicious desserts at stores where you can conveniently buy them. What’s even better though is when you can make them freshly without that commercial taste. Check below for a Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipe as well a Pumpkin Ice-cream recipe :)

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Cupcakes: recipe from a previous post found here.

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Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Printable Recipe: Here

Ingredients:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Whisk the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract together and refrigerate for about 3-8 hours
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes, till bubbles form around the edges of the pan
  4. Whisk the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of heavy cream until combined in a separate bowl
  5. Remove the heavy cream mixture from the saucepan and whisk about 1/2 cup of it into the egg yolk mixture
  6. Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it thickens (do not let it boil)
  7. Strain through a sieve into a bowl
  8. Place this bowl in another bowl full of ice-water
  9. Whisk the pumpkin puree into this custard like mixture and refrigerate for 3-24 hours
  10. Cover it with a plastic wrap pressed on the surface to prevent a skin from forming
  11. Transfer your custard to an ice-cream maker and freeze it according to the ice-cream maker’s instructions

Larger Version of My Strawberry Chocolate Bundt Cake

Let me just warn you. If don’t own a bundt cake pan and go out to buy one now, you will not be able to stop making bundt cakes! Trust me, there are plenty of flavors out there for you to try. Oh and plenty of toppings as well. The options are pretty much endless. Whenever I have too much free time on my hands I like to bake something. It takes forever though to choose the perfect recipe from foodgawker.com, so due to my laziness I decided to use my classic chocolate Hershey’s cake recipe. Yup, and I just had to use that bundt cake pan! After the cake was done, another dilemma came up. What frosting to use?! For some reason, I am a fail at frostings and have yet to find the perfect healthy one. My original one I’d use is basically butter and powdered sugar but I’ve been trying to experiment with different recipes to find something different. If you are lazy, the easiest frosting is just to melt baking chocolate squares and pour that allll over the cake, as I did :) My only mistake that I realized later was that after you refrigerate it, that the chocolate will harden and make it even tougher to cut the cake. Not too big of a deal, certainly didn’t stop me from eating it haha. For the end, I topped it off with sweetened coconut and my favorite- the glazed strawberries.

P.S. and yes, those mini strawberry chocolate bundt cakes I made in an earlier post helped inspire this! I just had to make the big version :)

OMG almost forgot, but this recipe was not just any chocolate cake, it was a TRES LECHES CHOCOLATE CAKE! Really Easy. Just mix a combination of evaporated milk (1 12oz can), sweetened condensed milk (1 14 oz can) , and heavy cream (1 1/2 cups) and pour it over the cake. Let it soak for a couple hours. And by the way, the measurements for the milk mixture to soak it in do not have to be exact. There are many variations as to how much you put of each type of milk, but I chose these.