24 oz of broccoli florets (2 prewashed bags) (wash and cut florets into 1" pieces) 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped 2 medium onions, chopped 2 tsp unsalted butter, divided 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour 3 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth 1 tsp thyme dash ground nutmet 3/4 cup half and half shredded low fat cheddar cheese for garnish (sprinkle 1/8 oz on each 1 cup serving) pepper, to taste
Fill a large saucepan half way with water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli (stems and florets) and cook til tender. Drain broccoli (discarding the water in the saucepan), transfer broccoli to a blender and let sit. In the same saucepan, over medium-high heat, melt half of the butter and half of the olive oil. Add onions and celery and saute til translucent, then add to the broccoli in the blender. Cover the blender and process on medium speed to desired texture, adding a cup or so of broth, if necessary. In the sauce pan, melt remaining butter with remaining oil over medium heat; stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth. Stir in remaining broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute, then add broccoli mixture, thyme and just a touch of nutmeg; heat just to boiling point. Stir in half and half and heat just until hot (do not boil now or it will break!).
Makes seven 1-cup servings. Garnish each 1 cup serving with 1/8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese. I like to serve with a relist tray of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks and green onions...may want to add whole grain rolls. None of serving suggestions are included in calorie count.