I never use a recipe to make soup and tonight was no different. I've been craving broccoli cheddar soup for a week, but tonight, it's whats for dinner. I used a left over chicken carcass from last night's precooked chicken (for chix Caesar salad) and added water to cover, 2 celery stalks with tops on and a tablespoon of peppercorns or so. Since it was precooked, I didn't add salt, but if it is a fresh whole chicken I would add salt to the water. Simmer for a few hours until the chicken is falling off the bone. Let sit until cool (or over night as I did) and strain. Add fresh broccoli florets to fill the liquid, cover and simmer until soft. In the mean time, saute an onion with a little olive oil in a pan. When softened, add a tsp of red pepper flakes or so. Saute 1 minute and add to broccoli and broth. Continue to cook until broccoli is very soft. Puree with a "boat motor", one of those little hand held blenders. Turn off burner and add half and half, a cup or until creamy looking. Add grated sharp cheddar cheese, like Cabot's, oh about 1 1/2- 2 cups. Add a squirt of Srirachi Hot Sauce to taste. Then add any chicken that was left from the bird, maybe 2 cups. Let sit for a few minute and serve with a loaf of crusty bread. OK, I know, I always say that, but add a hot crusty loaf of bread to any meal... well it just makes it better.
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