This soup is a dream come true - if, like me, you dream about things like soup. It has all the attributes that made a warm bowl of broccoli cheddar soup a comfort food classic in the first place: a rich, velvety texture; a belly-filling quality that oozes melted cheese; and a home-style, unfussy preparation with simple, everyday ingredients.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup  (Serves 4)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large head broccoli, florets and tender part of stems, chopped (about 6 cups)
3 cups no-salt-added chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup canned,  cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 85g)
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, stir in the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, until tender but not browned. 
Add the broccoli, broth and beans; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Let the soup cool for 15 minutes, then purée it in a blender in three batches, until smooth. Wipe out the saucepan as needed.
Return the blended soup to the saucepan over medium heat. Once the soup is bubbling at the edges, reduce the heat to low. 
Stir in the milk, 3/4 cup of the cheese, the powdered mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until just warmed through. 
Taste and add more salt as needed. Divide among individual bowls or deep mugs, and garnish with portions using the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Serve hot.

The Washington Post