rustic broccoli cheddar soup

I originally made this soup while still living in chicago, where creamy/cheesy/deadly applies even to generally healthy food categories, and have since come back to it slightly confused how this recipe could ever have worked as written. aka, the THREE CUPS of cheese I apparently used.

this is the same soup, slightly updated and refreshed, which will soon be part of a collection of broccoli soups developed in california (many of which are lighter).

this update also removes the chicken broth, making this soup 100% veg-friendly.

Photo May 18, 2 30 42 PM.jpg


Effortful time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 16 oz worth of broccoli florets
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk and half-and-half. Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and a shit ton of black pepper. Pour over the vegetable broth.

  2. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli starts to fall apart. This is where I take a spoon and hack away at it until it falls apart. If it's still yielding, it needs more time. (You could hit this with an immersion blender, but I like the chunks.)

  3. Stir in cheese, one handful at a time.

  4. To reheat: rehydrate it with milk, not water, or you're in for a viscous surprise.