The combination of cheese, broccoli, carrots and rice make this soup so rich and comforting. It’s really easy to make, has common ingredients you probably already have on hand, and doesn’t involve a “cream of blah, blah, blah” soup to thicken it up. The rice would be completely optional, but it gives it a nice hearty texture and thickens it a bit.
Cheesey Broccoli Rice Soup
5 cups broccoli, steamed and chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrots
2 cups shredded cheese-I used colby jack combination
1 cup cooked rice
3 cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk or half and half
1/2 cup plus 2 T flour
*Steam the broccoli until it’s tender. Chop finely-a food processor works great for this-and set aside.
*Finely chop the carrots, also in the food processor if you want.
*Cook the rice and set it aside.
*Combine the chicken broth and milk in a saucepan on the stove. Heat it over medium to medium high heat. Slowly whisk in the flour.
*Cook the milk, chicken broth, and flour just until it starts to boil. You need to stir it constantly so the flour doesn’t burn to the bottom of your pan. Just as it starts to boil, turn it off.
*Place the broccoli and carrots in the crockpot. Pour the milk mixture over the broccoli and carrots and stir it.
*Cook on low for about 3-4 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the cheese and the rice. Let it cook for a little longer, stirring it occasionally until the cheese is melted.
*Serve with crusty bread or in a bread bowl.
For those of you who eat gluten free, you could omit the rice and use a gluten free flour in the milk mixture. Would that work?