Broccoli Cauliflower Soup with Bacon and Cheddar

This is my favorite soup of all time – easy as pie and has amazing flavor.  I used to make it with just chicken stock until Jenn discovered the Imagine soup and it is a game-changer in this soup!

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil

1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets

1 head broccoli, cut into large florets

7 celery stalks, diced

4 large carrots, peeled & diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper

32 oz. Imagine Organic Potato Leek soup

2 c. low sodium chicken stock

Option for creamier soup: ¼ c. half & half

For garnish: bacon and shredded cheese of choice (I use an extra sharp cheddar or, in this batch, I used an Irish Dubliner that had a hint of a lager flavor.)

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and cook bacon until slightly crispy. Let cool and chop. 

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Cook until slightly tender, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Turn heat down to medium-low and add broccoli, cauliflower, thyme, remaining ½ tsp salt, potato leek soup and chicken stock. Mix to combine and cover.

5. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until broccoli and cauliflower is softened and easily pierced with a fork.

6. In batches, transfer soup to a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth or until desired consistency is achieved.  (I prefer to blend until smooth for the creamy consistency.)

7. Return to pot and add half & half if desired.

Serve topped with shredded cheese and reserved chopped bacon.