I always associate the changing of the seasons, from summer to autumn, with homier, comfort foods and meals and it doesnít get much more comforting than a nice, hot bowl of soup. I like most soups, but I especially enjoy thick, rich, creamy soups, so this 5 Ingredient Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe is just about as close to perfect as you can make (and eat!). Not only is this cheesy broccoli soup delicious, itís also incredibly simple to make and thatís a win-win in my recipe books!
Broccoli, one of the main ingredients in this broccoli cheese soup recipe, is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flower head is eaten as a vegetable. While broccoli is often boiled or steamed, it may also be eaten raw. Usually green, broccoli has large flower heads arranged in a tree-like structure, branching out from an edible stalk. It resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species. Broccoli is a result of careful breeding in the northern Mediterranean, starting around the 6th century B.C.E. Since the time of the Roman Empire, broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians. Broccoli was first brought to England from Antwerp in the mid-18th century. It was brought to the US by Italian immigrants, but didnít become widely known until the 1920ís. It is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber and contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties.
Evaporated milk, another main ingredient in this creamy, cheesy broccoli soup, is a shelf-stable canned milk product with about 60% of the water removed from fresh milk. It differs from sweetened condensed milk, which contains added sugar (and is generally used in desserts rather than savory meals). When the product is mixed with water, evaporated milk becomes the rough equivalent of fresh milk. This makes evaporated milk attractive for shipping purposes as it can have a shelf life of months to years, depending on the fat and sugar content. This made evaporated milk especially popular before refrigeration as a safe and reliable substitute for perishable fresh milk. In households in the western world, evaporated milk is most often used for desserts and baking. It is also used as a substitute for pouring cream, a rich substitute for milk and an accompaniment to desserts.
Depending on the ingredients you purchase, this soup can be made for less than $10.00 and will feed a houseful of hungry hippos! All you need is chicken stock, evaporated milk, onion (and maybe a bit of garlic, if you like a stronger flavor), sharp cheddar cheese and broccoli (either fresh or frozen), as well as some salt and pepper to taste. This is also a one pot meal where everything can be thrown into the same pot. This makes it even more appealing as there are very few dirty dishes to clean up afterwards (I hate doing sink full of dishes on a full stomach). You start out with your chicken stock, onion and broccoli. Next, you add your evaporated milk and cheese. And thatís it. The prep and cook time for this delicious soup recipe is only 30 minutes and then you can devour it Ė sip, slurp or sup, itís up to you!
A handy tip: if youíre concerned about using fresh or frozen broccoli, donít be. It wonít make any difference to the taste of this soup. I personally like working with fresh ingredients, but frozen broccoli isnít heavily processed like many frozen foods. And itís sometimes easier to just grab a bag of frozen broccoli so that you have it on-hand when the mood strikes for a delicious, creamy soup. Whatever you choose, you canít go wrong.