Sunday, May 18, 2014

Beach Season & Soup Recipe

The kids have been begging to go the beach for a few weeks now. When we lived in Norfolk, it was only a few minute drive to our fave spot, so we could squeeze in a quick beach trip in an otherwise busy day.
Since we moved, it's now a 30 minute drive to the closest beaches (one of which is our fave, yay)...But it requires more planning on my part, and a solid chunk of available time. It's been a busy month so far, and it just hasn't happened.
But they were delighted when I suggested a beach afternoon, after baseball was over. Other than cleaning and doing laundry...we didn't have anything else to do! (And who wants to dust or fold laundry, really?!)
The beach is really a magical place. There are no toys (or very simple ones), and yet no one gets fact, as long as we've ever stayed at the beach (sometimes near all day), I don't think I've ever heard the kids ask to leave, or be happy about going home. Water and sand and sun provide a kind of fun that nothing else can.
I love this kid. We had a nice talk. He has all kinds of interesting stories.
Kenna is getting buried in the sand by Brooks
This day, I had to entice them to leave...with bread bowls. Haha! Let me explain...for Mothers Day, we went to grab lunch at Panera Bread (because I wanted to go there, and we knew the wait times would not be long). Kenna is our soup girl. She adores it. So she got chicken noodle, in a bread bowl. This was about the best thing that has ever happened to her. Rarely has a girl ever been more in love with her meal. With my meal, I got some broccoli cheddar soup (in a regular bowl:-) and it was delicious.

Fast forward to last Wed night - Someone at our church has a connection with Panera - they get all the "day old" stuff, and bring it to the church for the seminary students to take home for free. Brian works out at the church on Wed nights, and was there at the time of the bread drop off. He noticed 2 bread bowls, and he snagged them. Yes, literally taking food out of some seminary students mouth;-)

But you should have seen Kenna. It was as if Daddy was a bread bowl magician. She couldn't believe he could procure such an amazing thing. She talked about the bread bowl from Thursday onward. We'd decided I'd make a knock off Panera recipe to go in the bowls (which were enjoyed by Kenna and Brooks. The rest of us had "just regular". The recipe was stellar, all 5 of us loved it!

So on this day, I enticed them to leave the beach with the promise of a bread bowl:-) Here is the soup recipe!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup - a knock off Panera Bread Recipe

2 T. Butter, melted
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. all purpose flour
4 c. half and half
4 c. chicken broth
1 lb. fresh broccoli
2 cups, julienned carrots
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 t. nutmeg
16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Saute onion in butter.  Set aside.   Whisk butter and flour over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Stir constantly and slowly add half and half.  Add chicken stock, still whisking.
Simmer 20 minutes.
Add broccoli, carrots and onion.  Cook over low heat until veggies are tender – about 20-25 minutes.  Add salt and pepper.  The soup will have thickened by now.
Carefully transfer soup mixture to blender and puree.  Return soup to pot (or crockpot) over low heat.  Add cheese.  Stir until well blended.  Add nutmeg right before serving.
Makes 8-10 servings.

NOTE: I felt that 2 C carrots was too much, I will reduce this amount next time I make it, maybe down to 1C and see how that compares.


  1. Hi Darla,
    I'm with Kenna ... I love bread bowls. And they don't get any better than homemade! I found a recipe we loved (from a website I love). I tried to copy and paste the site, but can't, so ... Go to and look up bread bowls in the recipe search. They're yummy! :)
    Joanne Kerr

  2. Thank you!! I'd love to make them for special dinners, and actually did google a few recipes, but it's nice to have a tried and true one. I'll save it on my computer. Thanks!