1/2 cup each finely chopped carrot, celery and onion
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
8 tablespoons butter, divided
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional shredded cheese, optional
In a Dutch oven, saute carrot, celery, onion and red pepper in 4 tablespoons butter until vegetables are tender. Stir in broth, broccoli florets, potato, Worcestershire and cayenne; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until the broccoli florets and potato are tender.
Meanwhile in a saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cheese. Continue to stir just until cheese is melted.
Slowly stir cheese sauce into vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional shredded cheese if desired. Refrigerate leftover soup.
Yield: 8-10 servings