This was made out of desperation for something warm and hearty to make for dinner this evening. It actually turned out delicious, and a nice hunk of French bread and a salad made a really filling meal!
1Rinse the Normandy Blend frozen vegetables in a colander (Normandy Blend is a blend of frozen broccoli florets, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and cauliflower ... in the vegetable freezer at the grocer).
2In a med-large pot, place the rinsed veggies and the 4 cups of water (or enough water to cover veggies). Cover, bring to a boil, then lower to simmer. Allow them to simmer until they're VERY SOFT and mushy. Drain in a colander and set aside, allowing them to drip really well.
3Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt the unsalted butter. Add the finely diced onion, and saute' the onion until it is very tender and translucent.
4Sprinkle the flour over the sizzling onion, and stir to make a roux. Allow the roux to brown just slightly, to a golden color.
5Pour in the milk, stirring constantly so lumps don't form. If some lumps form, don't worry ... you're gonna get rid of them later.
6Add the chicken stock and the 1-1/2 cups of water, and bring back up to temperature, stirring. Mixture will thicken very slightly.
7At this point, carefully pour your well-drained veggies into the soup base mixture (i.e., don't let them splash the hot soup back into your face). Bring the whole thing back to temp, but do not allow to boil. Stir and allow flavors to blend for about 5 minutes.
8Put the mixture in small batches into your blender. Remember to remove the center 'hole' in your blender cover, to allow steam to escape.
Puree' the mixture until all of it is creamy.
Transfer back to the soup pot.
9Add 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, and the black pepper. Add more salt, to your desired taste.
10Stir well, allow the cheese to melt and thicken the soup, and bring back up to temperature Do not scorch or boil.
11Enjoy with a big hunk of French bread, and a tossed spring mix salad. It is hearty, warm, delicious, and very filling!