1cupshredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheeseplus additional for serving
1/4cupnutritional yeast or finely grated ParmesanI love the nutritional yeast for its extra health benefits. You can also omit this and add an additional 1/2 cup shredded cheddar instead.
In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and cook until it is very brown and soft, about 8 minutes (this develops big flavor so be patient). Increase the heat to medium. Add the carrots, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix to combine.
Cook until the flour disappears, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the broth. Add the milk, broccoli and cauliflower. Bring to a simmer. Place a lid over the pot, leaving it partially uncovered, and let simmer until the broccoli and cauliflower are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the Dijon. With an immersion blender puree the soup until it is thick and creamy but still has some texture to it. (Alternatively, you can ladle a few scoops into a blender and puree a few batches. Be careful not to fill your blender more than halfway, as hot liquids like to splatter). Stir in the cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls, and serve warm, sprinkled with additional cheddar as desired.
TO STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave.
TO FREEZE: Place soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
TO MAKE VEGAN: Use almond milk and a vegan butter. Omit the cheddar cheese, use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice with the almond milk.