· 5 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 16 ounces)· 1 cup grated carrots, (you can grate yourself or use bagged, pre-cut julienne carrots)· 1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)· 3 cloves garlic (minced)· 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)· 1 teaspoon dried oregano· 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg· 2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)· 1 can 2% evaporated milk ((12 ounces))· 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt· 1/4 teaspoon black pepper· 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated* ((1 block))
Step 1Place the broccoli, carrots, onion, and garlic in the bottom of 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Top with the cream cheese, oregano, nutmeg, and chicken broth. Stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6 hours, until the broccoli is tender.Step 2Remove the lid and stir in the evaporated milk. With an immersion blender, puree about 3/4 of the soup, so that it is mostly smooth but still has a few chunks of broccoli remaining. Alternatively, you can puree the soup in 1 cup-sized batches in a food processor or blender. (Be careful—it's hot and prone to splatter!)Step 3Recover the soup and let cook on low for 10 minutes until warmed through. Stir the salt, pepper, and grated cheese. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Recover and cook on high until the cheese is fully melted and the soup is hot, about 5 additional minutes. Serve warm.