Good Day Gourmet: Cheesy Broccoli Kale & Leek Soup with Croutons

Ingredients:

(about 6 servings)

  • 1 head of broccoli (or 4 cups broccoli florets)
  • 4 cups of kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced lengthwise and chopped
  • 2 cups matchstick carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 cups. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 32 oz. vegetable broth
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 5 tbs. butter
  • 5 tbs. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  1. Chop up your veggies. You just want the florets of the broccoli, roughly chop those up. Be sure to clean your leek thoroughly -- after slicing off the dark green tops and chopping it up, submerge chunks in a bowl of cool water to rinse off the dirt. Drain the leeks.
  2. Heat butter in a soup pot, on medium heat. After it melts, add your leeks. Saute for several minutes until the leek is soft.
  3. Add minced garlic. Cook for a couple minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in flour and cook the mixture until the flour turns brownish (should take a couple of minutes).
  5. Whisk in buttermilk, and once it's thoroughly combined, add the vegetable broth.
  6. Add the chopped veggies. If they aren't completely submerged in the broth, it's okay, the vegetables will cook down. Cook on medium-high heat, 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove soup from the heat. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender, blending in batches), blend the soup until it's smooth -- tiny flecks of vegetables are okay.
  8. Mix in nutmeg and black pepper.
  9. Whisk in cheese gradually, until it's completely melted.
  10. Serve your soup in a bread bowl! Garnish with more shredded cheddar cheese and a few croutons.

Croutons:

(recipe will vary based on how much bread you can cleanly glean from each bread bowl)

  • 1 bread bowl per person
  • 1 cup bread, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1-2 tbs. Olive oil (enough to coat all bread cubes)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  1. Preheat oven 400ºF.
  2. Using a bread knife or serrated knife, cut the core out of each roll, keeping the bottom intact. You may use your fingers to gently scoop out any remaining bread to make room for the soup.
  3. Slice the spare bread into cubes, about 1/2-inch chunks (or whatever size crouton you like).
  4. Place bread cubes on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss bread with fingers or tongs, until it's thoroughly coated.
  5. Bake bread for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

This recipe and others from Vanessa available on her food blog: www.foodshelikes.com!

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