Prior to her ignominious fall from grace, I was a pretty big fan of Paula Deen. In fact, it was watching her cook on the Food Network that drew me into the world of self-education in the culinary arts. Here was this woman who was famous and beloved for her food, and she didn't have to cook all fancy-pants to get there! In a nutshell, she cooked and ate like me.
I went through a spell wherein I collected all her cookbooks, and I even subscribed to her magazine. While it should be obvious to all that her methods aren't exactly keto friendly, after I left carbland I quickly concluded that the style and flavor was salvageable, and set out to do so. Taking many of her ideas and translating them to a keto-friendly framework is how I came up with some of my family's early keto favorites on my journey. This recipe happens to be one of them.
I'm a huge fan of cheddar soup, and good old Paula had a great recipe in her very first cookbook. Now, this recipe included a whole pile of things that are not even remotely friendly, like flour, milk, and onions in a quantity per serving that were a bit on the absurd side. I made this recipe friendly by swapping out and scaling back those ingredients, while making it my own- and into a more complete meal- by transforming the whole shebang into a thick and creamy broccoli and cheddar soup.
Recently, I decided to experiment a bit with adding my konjac/glucommanan powder to the butter and sautéing onion to see if it could be used in place of flour when making a roux. Happily, it worked beautifully, and I began my roux experiment with a nice, golden mixture that thickened beautifully while adding that extra depth that can be lacking in so many keto recipes (where that browning stage must be skipped and thickeners added at the very last second).
This recipe, as written, makes four generous servings, but it's pretty easy to double if you're feeding a crowd. And since it's pushing into winter in the non-Florida parts of the country, this soup would be perfect for a warming supper on a chilly evening.
- Serves: 4 hearty servings
- Serving size: ¼ recipe (296 g per)
- Calories: 432.3
- Fat: 39.8 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 9.4 g
- Fiber: 2.8 g
- Protein: 12.1 g
- 3 tbsp. butter, salted
- 2 oz onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp. pimento, chopped
- 1 tsp konjac/glucommanan powder
- 1 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 8 oz broccoli florets, chopped small-ish
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 pinches smoked paprika
- 4 oz shredded cheddar (it's best with sharp or extra sharp cheddar)
- black pepper, fresh cracked, to taste
- Melt the butter in a pot or large saucepan, over medium heat.
- Add onion and pimentos, and sauté until the onion is translucent.
- Sprinkle the konjac/glucommanan powder over the mixture, stirring constantly, and cook until the onion just starts to brown.
- Pour in the stock and cream, and stir well.
- Toss in the broccoli, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook at a simmer for ten minutes, or until broccoli is tender.
- Add seasonings and stir well, then use an immersion blender to crush and cream some of the broccoli into the soup. If you don't have an immersion blender, that's OK! Pulse about half the soup through a food processor or blender several times to blend in some of the broccoli. You want the soup to be creamy, but still have a goodly amount of broccoli pieces chunked into the mixture, so it doesn't need to be completely smooth.
- Add cheddar cheese to the pot, and stir until it's melted into the soup.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!