Based on a recipe from Light and Tasty, but changed to our liking :)
Broccoli Cheese Soup
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T flour
1 can reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth
4 C frozen broccoli, chopped (I use Green Giant Broccoli Steamers)
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 C milk (1% makes it extra creamy, but it's still great with skim or 1/2%)
1 1/4 C freshly grated, room temperature extra sharp cheddar cheese
In a soup pot, stir together onion powder, flour and garlic cloves. Place pan over heat and gradually add broth, whisking in to avoid clumping. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until mix is starting to thicken. Add broccoli, thyme and pepper; and return soup to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until broccoli is done to your liking. Add milk, cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, and cool for 10 minutes. Add 1 C of cheese, allow to melt. Stir until fully melted.
Serve right away. We like it with fresh, whole wheat bread; or a crusty French bread :)
I've made this quite a few times, and this time the cheese turned out "perfectly"! Sometimes, it's clumpy and stringy... this time it was great. The secret - bring cheese to room temperature, then grate and toss into the soup. The closer temperatures between the soup and the cheese seems to make a difference -- as well as it being freshly grated verses pre-shredded.