If you had ham as part of your Thanksgiving feast and you cannot stand another ham and cheese sandwich, how about ham and broccoli cheese soup? Imagine each spoonful filled with tender broccoli, melted cheese, and salty ham.
Oh, I almost forgot..…despite the thickness of the soup, it is gluten free! Instead of using flour to make the rue to thicken the soup, I used yellow corn meal. This did the job of thickening the soup and added a lovely earthy flavor while keeping it gluten free!
Did you know that you can process your cured ham in the Marinade Express TM to help draw out impurities and reduce the salt content? If your ham has a skin on it poke little holes around the ham so that the marinade can reach the meat. Process the ham for 15-20 minutes in the unflavored marinade solution. Freeze, cook, or prepare the ham as normal. I promise that your ham will still taste as flavorful as before, only without the impurities!
Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large onion, diced
3 gloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons yellow corn meal
4 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 heads broccoli, cut into florets
½ cup chicken broth
3 cups shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese (and a little extra for topping)
1) Over medium heat melt the butter in a large stock pot.
2) Add the onion and a little salt; allow to sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic; sauté for 1 minute.
3) Add the corn meal and whisk until combined. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking continuously.
4) Slowly add the milk and half-and-half whisking constantly until combined.
5) Add the broccoli florets. Bring the pot to a boil (be careful to watch the pot closely to make sure it doesn’t boil over). Reduce heat immediately to low. Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the soup is thickened and the broccoli is tender.
6) If desired use an immersion blender (or carefully ladle into a regular blender in two batches. Make sure to leave room at the top so that there are no explosions), and puree until smooth. Or, if you prefer you can leave it chunky. I like the combination so I used a slotted spoon to fish a handful of broccoli out. I returned it to the bowl once the remainder was pureed.
7) Stir in the chicken broth, or more if needed to achieve desired thickness.
8) Sprinkle in the cheese and stir until it is melted.
9) Add the ham.
10) Add the nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
11) Allow to simmer for 5 more minutes, or until the ham is heated through.