Ingredients: 2 bay leaves,4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head),1/4 cup butter,1 large carrot, diced,1/4 cup flour,2 cups half-and-half,Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,3 cups low-sodium chicken broth,1/4 teaspoon nutmeg,1 onion, chopped,2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish,7 inches sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth.
- Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around.
- Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.
- Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.Discard the bay leaves.Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you’ll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli.Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)
- Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted.
- Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick.Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.