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Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli Soup (copycat: Panera's Broccoli Cheddar)

If you don't want to use Velveeta, replace it with eight ounces of shredded Cheddar cheese. 
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1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 medium onion (5 ounces), finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
4 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought gluten-free reduced-sodium broth
1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli
1 large carrot (2 ounces), peeled and grated
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces Velveeta, cut into small cubes (see note above)
Salt

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until translucent and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Continue to stir frequently. Add the mustard and stir to combine.
  2. Stir in the sweet rice flour until a paste forms. Cook, stirring constantly, until the paste is a light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock in a slow and steady steam. Whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, then add the broccoli, carrot, hot pepper sauce, and black pepper. Simmer (look for occasional gentle bubbles) for 30 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli from the soup to a blender or food processor. Add a generous splash of soup, about 1/2 cup. (Don't fill the blender more than halfway. Work in batches if you have a small blender.) Blend until the broccoli is almost smooth but not a paste.
  4. Return the broccoli to the soup. Stir to combine. Add the Velveeta. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the Velveeta is melted (see note above). Season to taste with salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve. Store leftover soup in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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