Broccoli Cheddar Soup

On a beautiful summer day in November, I decided to experiment with recipes for broccoli cheddar soup because I'm trying to add a few more meals to my dinner options (what else could possibly be out there besides salmon, omelets, and chicken???). So many recipes out there have way too many ingredients for me to want to make, so I tried to simplify this soup as much as I could, without losing out on all the good stuff. It's definitely not on the same level of healthiness as quinoa for dinner, but I was able to substitute half-and-half and some of the cheese with 2% milk and an extra potato to help keep the thickness and flavor. Because the potatoes cook for a nice amount of time, they get so soft that pureeing the soup isn't necessary, unless you don't like any chunks whatsoever. But other than that, a food processor or immersion blender isn't needed! 

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Ingredients and Directions

2 tbsp         butter 
2 tbsp         flour
2 cups        2% milk
1.5 cups     water
2                 russet/idaho potatoes, peeled and diced small
2 cups        broccoli, torn to bite-sized pieces
4-5 oz        sharp cheddar cheese
to taste      Garlic powder, salt, and pepper (needs more than just a sprinkle)                                                               

Melt the butter in a saucepan. When it's completely melted, mix in the flour until fully mixed. Stir in the milk on medium heat and let the mixture thicken for a few minutes. Continue to stir a bit off and on for those couple minutes. Once it thickens, allow it to simmer on low until you finish preparing the potatoes and broccoli. Add the prepared vegetables and the water to the sauce pan. Let the soup simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables soften and the soup re-thickens. Then add the sharp cheddar cheese and stir until its fully melted. Add spices. You'll need more than a sprinkle of everything (except maybe the pepper), but add them slowly until you reach the taste you like. I used more than a teaspoon or two of garlic powder and salt. You can also add onion powder of course.

Let me know how it goes... and enjoy!  

And lastly - I would absolutely love to know what you guys make for dinner, because I'm still trying to add some other options to the list!