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Cold weather means warm comfort soup, remember? Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables (which is hilarious, because my mom hates it, but since we all liked it so much she’d not only serve it to us, but she’d even grow it in her little greenhouse for us!) and broccoli cheese soup has been a regular go-to for me for years. Recently I was wondering how a broccoli cheese soup would taste with a beer thrown into the mix, and since Eric had just finished a batch of homemade summer ale to finish off the “light beer season”, I thought I’d give it a try.

Again, this recipe serves two, so I’d recommend doubling, tripling, etc. On the other hand, most of my friends are single or newly married at this stage of our lives, so this could be the perfect size!

Ingredients:

– olive oil

– 1 small onion, chopped

– 1 entire head of broccoli (the stems are delicious too!), chopped

– 2 cloves of garlic, minced

– 1 cup of vegetable broth

– 1/2 to 3/4 cup of beer of your choice (If it’s a particularly strong flavored beer, like a very hoppy IPA or a stout, you might want to use less since the beer flavor could over-power your soup. Even with using the summer ale, the soup had a very distinct beer flavor. I enjoyed it, and I’m going to guess that if you’re even making this recipe, you’d probably enjoy it too.)

– 1 cup of milk

– 3/4 cup of shredded cheese (Cheddar cheese is the typical kind used in broccoli cheese soup, and it’s what I used, but I think most other hard cheese-types could work. Also, it is important that the cheese is shredded or grated and not cubed. Chunks of cheese won’t melt as well in your soup and can clump around the broccoli.)

– salt & pepper to taste

Now the how-tos:

– In a good-sized pot, drizzle some olive oil and cook the onion, garlic & broccoli over medium heat until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes.

-Pour in the vegetable broth & beer and bring it up to a boil.

-Reduce the heat to a simmer, then add the milk (don’t allow the milk to boil).

-Now add the shredded cheese slowly, one handful at a time. Allow each handful to melt before adding the next, so it doesn’t clump together.

-Remove your soup from the heat and blend it up until it reaches your desired consistency. If you don’t mind broccoli soup on the chunkier side, this isn’t necessary, but I liked mine smooth.

-Return the soup back to the stove-top to reheat it a little, season with salt & pepper, and enjoy!

We had ours with some fresh hot bread I’d made at the same time, and enjoyed it all out of these beautiful handmade soup bowls from our friends over at Whole Bean Mugs.

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