Yesterday was cold.  Seven degree, you can get a refreshing glass of ice water from the tap, kids actually wanting to wear their winter gear, I don’t wanna get off the couch for fear of exposure–in my house…cold. 

What do you make for dinner when it’s that cold?  Soup, of course.  
Last night I made Broccoli Cheddar soup in another attempt to replicate a favorite—Panera’s Cheddar Broccoli Soup. No, no political reasons this time, just curious to see if I could do it.
Now, I love their soup, but sometimes the cheese smacks you in the face and the broccoli comes behind to offer a weak apology.  I love broccoli and wanted to showcase it in my soup, so I researched recipes while bundled on the couch and the kids ran amuck.
I found a couple of great recipes and a picture of a bowl of cheddar broccoli soup with strips of caramelized onions swimming in creamy goodness.
And I started thinking:
The night before I had made chicken drumsticks in my crockpot which left me with a good amount of caramelized, cooked down, utterly delicious onions in chicken stock.  What if I used the onions in my soup, instead of chopping a fresh batch?  What if I use that stock tonight instead of saving it for chicken noodle soup this weekend?  What if I used up white cheddar cheese instead my standby block ‘o orange-my-goodness?  What if, indeed! 
I’ll tell you what; you get SO BOSS BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP.
So today, my friends, I offer you not one, but two recipes for dinner tonight.  I’m a great cook (for the moment) and super generous.  Aren’t you glad you found this blog 🙂?
The night before make chicken drumsticks in your crockpot for dinner:
Season drumsticks with whatever you have on hand.  I like to use Lawry’s salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash. 
Lay drumsticks (the dark meat will give your stock and onions a rich, delicious flavor) on a bed of sliced onions, cook for 8 hours on low. 
I like our chicken a bit crispy, so I transferred them to a baking dish for 15 minutes at 350, but you don’t have to, the chicken will be fully cooked in the crockpot alone.
You can serve some onions with dinner, but reserve 1 cup and all the stock for your soup tomorrow.  I left our onions and the stock in my crockpot on the warm setting overnight. 
So Boss Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Two heads of broccoli
4 cups of half and half
4 cups of homemade chicken stock  (If your chicken last night didn’t make enough, you can supplement homemade with store bought, that’s what I did.)

2 cups of sliced carrots
1 cup crock-pot caramelized onions from the night before
¼ cup butter
½ cup flour
8 ounces of your white cheddar cheese 


1: Cook melted butter and flour using
a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.
2: Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3: Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.
4: Add salt and pepper to taste. Can be puréed in a blender but I don’t. Return to heat and add cheese. You can add milk to the soup if it’s too thick after adding the cheese.
My husband said, “Babe, you went all gourmet with this!  The cheese is so subtle, but the sauce is so savory!”
That’s what I call showcasing the broccoli, baby!
(By the way, I used store brand ingredients, nothing gourmet about that!)
It’s ridiculous how proud I am of myself.  I almost want to have a bowl of left over soup for breakfast…
No, no, that’s too weird!  Who eats soup for breakfast?
I mean, it’s sitting in the fridge just waiting to be eaten…
Does it really care if it’s eaten for breakfast or lunch…?
I really shouldn’t….
I do need a picture for this blog post…
Ah forget it, I’m having soup for breakfast. 
To the victor belong the spoils!
If you try it out let me know, and please pass this on to your friends so for one night–they can be “so boss” too!