3teaspoonsBetter than Bouillon vegetable base paste
4cupsfinely chopped broccoliflorets and stalks included
½cupfinely chopped mushrooms
freshly ground black pepper to taste
½cupheavy creamhalf & half, or milk of your choice
½cupshredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼cupfinely shredded Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the chopped onions, and sauté until they soften and start to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic. Slowly add the flour, stirring constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the water and broth paste, stirring constantly as you add. Cook about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Pour the soup into a large slow cooker, and add the chopped broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 ½ - 3 hours or low heat for 6 hours, stirring a couple of times while it cooks.
Turn heat off, and remove about 1 ½ to 2 cups of the cooked soup, and carefully (it will be hot) blend in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return blended soup to the crock pot. Slowly stir in cream, cheddar, and Parmesan. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust seasonings if desired. Garnish with additional thyme, chopped broccoli, or Parmesan.
Stove top directions: I made this the other day on the stove top because I had forgotten to pop it in the crock pot. It worked great. Simply follow the directions, and rather than moving it to the crock pot at the end of step 1. Leave it in the pan on the stove and cook for 20 - 25 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Continue following along with step 2.