Creative Ideas for Adapting a Family-Favorite Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Hug-in-a-BowlRecipes
In Blaire Cooks Up A Plan, Blaire describes this Broccoli Cheddar “Hug-In-A-Bowl” soup, one of her all-time family favorites, as “the ultimate comfort food.” When she learns she must eliminate dairy from her diet due to a food sensitivity, there’s naturally a period of adjustment for her and her family—but with creativity and openness to new ideas, she and her mom begin to experiment with alternatives to dairy and new ways to re-make some old favorites.
Though a creamy, cheesy soup like Blaire’s “Hug-in-a-Bowl” might seem like a real challenge to adapt for a dairy-free diet, this recipe is actually a great place to start! Both the dairy and non-dairy versions begin the same way, and the dairy is added at the end—which means a single batch can be adapted to meet a variety of dietary needs or give you an opportunity to experiment with several versions at once. Try our original dairy-rich version, our dairy-free version, or our dairy-free and nut-free version—or experiment with your own custom swaps.
Broccoli Cheddar Hug-In-A-Bowl
For the base:
YOU WILL NEED:
- 1½ pounds of broccoli
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon thyme
Peel the tough broccoli stems. Coarsely chop the broccoli florets and stems.
Pour the broth into a medium saucepan. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer.
Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute longer. Add the heated broth, chopped broccoli, lemon juice, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the broccoli mixture cool until warm, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the broccoli mixture to a blender (do this in batches if necessary). Cover and blend until the soup is smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan, then proceed with one of the following:
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