Broccoli Cheese Soup~ From StoneGable's Kitchen

6 cups fresh broccoli
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup flour
2 cups whole milk ( or half and half, or a combo of both)
4 cups very sharp cheddar cheese,  1/2 cup reserved
Pancetta, 6-8 thin slices ( can also use bacon)

Wash and trim broccoli. Do not use tough ends. Rough cut and put in slow cooker. 

In a large frying pan, heat cooking oil and add onions. Cook onions on medium low heat until soft. Add a healthy pinch of salt. Add shreddedcarrots and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add to slow cooker. 

Add chicken stock, pepper, and only if using low sodium stock, 1/2 tsp salt. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Remove 2 cups of cooked vegetables (mostly broccoli) and chop into small pieces, reserve. 

In a bowl, mix flour and milk with a whisk. (I use a large jar with a lid and shake) Add to slow cooker. Grate a little nutmeg (1/8 tsp) and add. Cook on high for 30-45 minutes until thickend. Replace lid and keep closed.

Add cheddar cheese and continue to cook until melted. Replace lid and keep closed.

Using emulsifying blender, blend soup until smooth. You can also use a standard blender and blend in batches. This will make the soup thicker and creamy. Add reserved chopped broccoli and stir.

Shred pancetta and cook in a large skillet until crisp. Use to garnish soup.