Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Recipe Review: Broccoli-Cheese Soup

A couple weeks ago I made a batch of broccoli-cheese soup, using a recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

Drew and I have been craving broccoli-cheese soup for a while now, so I searched the internet for simple, delicious-looking recipes. I should have known the Pioneer Woman would deliver.

The recipe was super easy to follow and didn't take too long either. I followed her recipe exactly, except I used skim milk in place of whole, frozen broccoli instead of fresh and omitted the nutmeg (can you believe our giant spice rack we got as a wedding gift doesn't have nutmeg in it?).

The steps were pretty simple: chop up an onion, throw it in a pot with a bunch of dairy, add broccoli, simmer, add cheese and eat.
Three cups of cheese is... a lot of cheese.
Somewhere in between "add broccoli" and "eat" things got a little crazy. I don't know if it was the extra water from the skim milk and frozen broccoli, high heat or something else entirely, but the whole mixture just sort of separated. It was not attractive.

Not only that, but we just weren't getting the cheesy taste we wanted. I originally added three cups of cheese according to my measuring cup, but the soup just tasted like cream of broccoli so we doubled the amount of cheese.
According to a handy measurement converter magnet we have, the double amount of cheese was only two cups in ounces. So either we added twice as much cheese as the recipe called for, or not quite enough. Either way, the soup still wasn't as cheesy as we hoped it would be. Does anyone know if you're supposed to measure cheese in ounces or not? Why such a weird discrepancy in amounts?

After all that, we spooned the soup into our blender in batches to chop everything up a bit and try to remedy our separation problem. No such luck on binding things together better, but at least it looked a little nicer (although not nice enough for me to take a picture - I was pretty over this recipe at that point).

The verdict: While the soup still tasted fine (but not great), it looked absolutely disgusting even after blending. I wish I would've read the comments beforehand to see that many people experienced what I did: separated milk and not enough cheesy taste. Unfortunately this recipe is not a keeper for us.

I'll be honest, we're probably not going to eat all of this stuff (we have a bunch of it in our freezer right now). I'm not exactly sure what went wrong with the recipe, since plenty of other commenters said the soup came out perfectly for them. Maybe subbing skim milk for whole made that much of a difference? I don't know. Oh, well. I guess we're just going to have to go with store-bought the next time we want broccoli-cheese soup.

Has anyone else tried any new recipes lately? I need some ideas!


  1. Cheese will separate into oil and its protein unless you gently add it to a roux (that is flour, butter) with milk then do NOT overheat. Do not boil. I suggest adding a little more salt and a bit of butter to make it taste cheesier. See how that works out.

  2. Thanks for the tips! I don't know if I'll be brave enough to try this recipe again, but if I do I will definitely follow your advice!