Healthy Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday. I froze myself in the northern states of Wisconsin and Illinois, which has resulted in a less than healthy start to 2013 for me.  The good news about being sick is that it's a great excuse to eat lot's of soup.  Not that you ever really need an excuse to eat soup.  

Last night I was craving cheesy broccoli (from Panera in a bread bowl)...but I wasn't in the mood for the 4000 calories that is in theirs (why did no one tell me that in college??!).  This recipe did just the trick - really delicious and mild, this soup is perfect for someone who doesn't like Gruyere on their grilled cheese or Blue Cheese on their burger (...my husband, my father...).   

My husband had 2 giant bowls, I had 3.

Recipe
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and cook for several minutes. Add in the chicken broth and broccoli, and bring to a low simmer - about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, and nutmeg.  Reduce the heat to low, and whisk the milk mixture into the broth mixture. Cook for 5-10 more minutes to thicken. Remove from heat, then stir in the Velveeta and Parmesan, allowing it to melt.  Transfer about 1/3 of the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree - or use your immersion blender (that's what I did)!  Pour the pureed mixture back into the pot, and stir to combine. Garnish with shredded cheddar, if you want (which you do).

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