24 Apr 2015

Throwback TGI Fridays Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Back in the day TGI Fridays had a broccoli and cheese soup on their menu and whenever we ate there (with a brother that loves the restaurant, it was pretty often), that was sure to be my starter. Since then, the delicious soup was taken off their menu and I thought that with winter coming up it would be a great addition to my list of meals I can cook. I used this recipe from The Recipe Critic and altered it so that it would mimic the soup of my childhood. 

The recipe called for 2 cups half and half cream, but living in Australia, half and half is difficult to get hold of. I used the substitution of 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup pouring cream to make 1 cup of half and half. We decided to omit the carrots and replace it with another cup of broccoli, because after all it is a broccoli and cheese soup! For the cheese, I used vintage cheddar cheese and 2 cups of it (for that extra sharp, cheesy flavour). The addition of nutmeg may seem odd (it did to me) but it really did add another dimension to the soup; you can't even tell that it's nutmeg!

When all the ingredients are added and left to simmer, it's really all up to you to decide how thick you want the soup and how soft you want the broccoli to be. I left my soup simmering for about 15-20 minutes. What I was left with was a creamy, velvety soup that really tasted like the TGI Fridays broccoli and cheese soup. It was a success with mum and my brother and is sure to make a comeback at the dinner table! 

The thing with this soup is that you can control the amount of broccoli you want in it as well as the cheese. Just give it a taste and go from there. You could also puree the soup if you like a smoother texture but I personally like the bits of broccoli (smooth is boring, no?). Best served with a side of crackers for dipping! 

1 tbsp melted butter
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup plain flour
2 cups half-and-half 
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh broccoli 
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper (to taste)

1) Saute the chopped onion in the 1 tsbp melted butter until the onions are soft and clear. Set aside. 

2) In a large pot over medium heat whisk together the remaining melted butter and flour for 3-4 minutes. 

3) Slowly add the half-and-half and the chicken stock. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. 

4) Add in the broccoli and onions. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. 

5) Add in the cheese and let it melt, stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

6) Serve warm with crackers and enjoy! 

If you try out this recipe, let me know how you go! 

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