1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth (For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth.)
1 head broccoli (chopped into florets)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
5 sourdough bread bowls (We bought ours at Panera.)
Heat butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add flour and stir quickly to thicken. Add 1 cup of milk. Use a whisk to stir until smooth. Simmer 5 minutes until thick. Add second cup of milk and mix well. Simmer another 5 minutes until thick. Add chicken broth, broccoli florets, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Simmer 15-20 minutes until broccoli softens.
Pour soup into blender and pulse 30 seconds until smooth. Return to pot. Add grated cheese and stir until melted.
While soup is cooking, use a sharp knife to cut holes 2-3 inches in diameter in the tops of the bread bowls. Remove tops and use fingers to gently remove the additional bread from inside of bowl. Leave thick sides on each bowl to support soup. Serve soup in bread bowls topped with additional grated cheddar cheese, if desired.