I’ve been anticipating this day for a month now — it’s my first post from the Secret Recipe Club. When I first started blogging, I came across the Secret Recipe Club but wasn’t able to join because of the requirements (new blog, not enough posts etc). Last September, I met all the requirements and applied but there was a long waiting list. I hadn’t heard back until early last month with the news — I was finally accepted!
For those of you who are not familiar with the Secret Recipe Club, it’s a great way to learn about other blogs, connect with other bloggers and share recipes. Each month you are “assigned” a participating food blogger to make a recipe from. It’s a secret, you cannot tell them you are making something from their blog! You simply choose any recipe from the blog you are assigned, make or bake it, and blog about it on the date specified.
For February and my first assignment, I was given Nicole’s blog I am a Honey Bee. Looking through her recipe archive I was really excited, and I many several recipes that I wanted to try – Green Tomato Bread was among my picks. I searched for green tomatoes and they were no where to be found in Helena (I’ll have to save this one for another day and de-glutenize it!) so Chris and I voted for my second delicious option – Light Cheddar-Broccoli Soup. Not only had I eaten a creamy broccoli soup several weeks before that I was still thinking about, this was perfect dish when the -2F weather hit and I wanted something warm and comforting!
I put my spin on Nicole’s yummy soup using brown rice flour for the whole wheat, subbed whole grain brown rice milk for the cow’s milk, cut back on the cheese and added some nutritional yeast, used olive oil in place of butter/ghee (I was out of ghee) and added a couple shakes of cayenne pepper. I prefer my soup on the thick and chunky side so I decreased the amount of broth slightly and blended half of the soup. I will definitely be making this again!
Lightened up Broccoli-Cheddar Soup (Vegan Option) (adapted from I am a Honey Bee)
2 heads of broccoli with stems, chopped fine or very fine (depending on what texture you prefer your soup)
3 cups unsweetened plain rice milk (I used Good Karma Whole Grain Brown Rice)
1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter, ghee, olive oil or Earth Balance (use oil or earth balance for vegan)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 – 3 cups chicken broth or homemade stock or vegetable broth (use vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian)
2 shakes of cayenne pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese. shredded (or use non-dairy Daiya cheddar shreds for vegan or dairy free)
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Finely chop 2 heads of broccoli, including stems. In a large pot, combine the rice milk and broccoli, then bring to a simmer until broccoli is tender (mine took about 7 minutes).
2. In a skillet, saute the onions with butter/oil/Earth Balance. Once the onions are translucent, sprinkle the flour in the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour has evenly coated the onions.
3. Add the broth slowly and mix until all lumps of flour are broken down. (For a thicker soup, use 2 cups and for a thinner soup use 3 cups of broth).
4. Add the onion-broth mixture to the broccoli-milk mixture in the large pot. Blend or puree part of all of the soup to your desired texture (I used a stick blender and partial blended the soup to maintain some texture). Then add the shredded cheese, cayenne pepper and nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and completely incorporated. Serve immediately, enjoy!