POTATO BROCCOLI AND CHEESE SOUP

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

salt and pepper

2 tsp olive oil

3 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth (recipe calls for 4 cups, but I thought that was too much liquid, so I adjusted mine to 3 cups)

5 or 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets

2-3 tsp Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (this was my own addition)

1/2 cup milk (again adjust according to the consistency you desire)

1 pkg Velveeta Shreds (2 cups) (NEVER SKIMP ON CHEESE…SQUEAK!!)

Panera bread bowls

Heat oil in pan and cook onions, carrots and celery til soft but not brown. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in broth and potatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered til potatoes are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the broccoli, and continue to cook about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and with a potato masher, mash potats to the desired consistency. Stir in the milk and the cheese and return to a low heat to melt the cheese and be sure all is heated thru.
PANERA BREAD BOWLS:

Go to Panera and buy bread bowls at $1.69 each. Cut a circle on top and hollow out the shell. Brush the insides with a little olive oil and place on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400° til crispy.

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Serve soup in bowls and garnish with crisp cooked bacon and chopped green onion on top if desired.

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