Local dairy products shine through in this chicken and broccoli cheese soup!
I was so excited when this campaign came to my inbox. It does double duty for me…a paid campaign AND a local spotlight! Hiland Dairy Foods is a dairy that has two manufacturing facilities in Oklahoma, and we use them all the time! I drive by the location in Chandler every time I’m on the turnpike headed to Oklahoma City. Hiland produces an array of great-tasting products, including yogurts, cheese, and of course, milk. They’re also the distributor of Red Diamond tea, for all my sweet tea lovers!
When I went to the store I picked up all of the items shown below: cottage cheese, milk, butter and a big block of cheese! However, the cottage cheese isn’t for today’s recipe and was just for my lunch… But since I bought it, I thought I should include it in the photo too. They’re actually doing a giveaway to win Hiland Dairy for a YEAR! What a great way to make it a Hiland holiday. You can bet I entered too!
Food is one of my favorite parts about getting to go home for Christmas. Then again, food is my favorite part of pretty much any event in life, not that this should be a surprise to any of the regulars around these parts… Sometimes, I travel to multiple homes on the same day during the holiday season. I’m sure I’m not the only person who does this. However, I always make a game out of prioritizing the best things at each house to eat! At Dad’s, it’s always the mashed potatoes. At Mom’s, it’s this killer cranberry salsa that someday I’m going to need to share with you (I promise!).
Dairy is a huge component of all holiday things, no matter which house I’m at: Butter and milk go in nearly everything – from sweet to savory. I know everyone likes their mashed potatoes a certain way, but my dad likes his creamy and thin. He puts in plenty of the good stuff (butter and milk – even sour cream sometimes!) to make that happen. As noted above, that’s also how I happen to like mine (wonder how that happened…), so I always make sure to get my fill of potatoes at the Stuart house.
And at my mom’s house, there’s always something good baking. Cookies, bread – you name it. You can find a recipe for my Mama’s cookies here. And I haven’t yet mastered her dinner rolls, but that will happen some day…if I ever get good at baking anything besides Rowies.
Although my little game is a self-made tradition that has evolved from life changes, food and family always remain constant holiday times. What kind of traditions do you have with your family? Do they always involve butter and milk just like mine? A year’s worth of dairy products would do both of my families a lot of good…They’ll need to be sure to enter the giveaway too!
The recipe I’m bringing you today is something I threw together and it turned out simply stellar. I’m not a broccoli person, but I AM a cheese person… When I was growing up I was notorious for getting broccoli cheese soup at Panera and then dumping the broccoli chunks off of the side of my bowl. In this recipe, I combine all the veggies and then blend them up so that there are no chunks in sight! Plenty of cheese later, I even added some chicken for added protein. It really helps the soup to become a hearty lunch that keeps you full! Made with Hiland milk, cheese and butter, it is creamy and cheesy and delicious!
Tell me about your favorite holiday food traditions in the comments!
Chicken and Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 5 chicken tenderloins
- 1 T. butter
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 stalks celery 1 cup diced
- 1/2 C. carrot
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 C. onion
- 2 broccoli crowns about 3 1/2 C., chopped
- 2 C. vegetable broth
- 3-4 C. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 C. milk
- 1/4 t. garlic powder
- 1/4 t. sea salt
- 1/8 t. paprika
- Cook chicken in a pan with 1 T. olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper.
- In a pan on medium heat, sauté vegetables with remaining 1 T. olive oil and butter.
- Bring veggies and broth to low boil for 5 minutes.
- Blend together with an immersion blender.
- Turn heat down to low and stir in cheese.
- When cheese is melted, stir in milk.
- Season with powdered seasonings to taste.
- Serve with cheese and toasty bread!
For best results, buy a block cheese and shred it yourself. It melts better, as some pre-shredded cheeses come with an anti-caking agent which causes it not to melt as easily.