Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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6 cups chopped broccoli, steamed; divided
4 cups chopped potatoes, cooked
1 can chicken broth
3 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 cups finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp salt, optional
3 cups half and half, divided
2 cups 2% milk
4 cups medium Cheddar Cheese, shredded

In a blender puree 4 cups of the steamed broccoli, chicken broth, and the cooked potatoes. Reserve.

Chop the remaining 2 cups of broccoli to desired size. Reserve.

In a large pan, saute onion in 2 tbsp butter, add garlic about 1 minute before onion is tender.  Add 1 more Tbsp butter, flour and black pepper whisk for 1 minute.  Slowly add 2 cups half and half to the pan, whisking until it starts to thicken.  Add 1 more cup half and half as well as the milk.  Stir in the pureed mixture,  chopped broccoli and grated cheddar cheese (use less cheese if using sharp, I used medium).  Stir until cheese is melted.  Let simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.