2 cups water
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 pound fresh broccoli, washed and chopped
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups milk
Tabasco sauce, as desired (I use a couple of dashes)
1 pound processed cheese spread, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups ham, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
In a large saucepan, combine water, celery, carrots and onion. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes or until tender/crisp. Add broccoli; cook until broccoli is tender/crisp, about 4-5 minutes. (To keep broccoli bright green, leave the cover slightly ajar.) Do not drain vegetables.
To make sauce, melt butter in a large saucepan; blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in milk; cook and stir until mixture thickens. Add several drops of Tabasco sauce if desired. Stir in the cheese and cook until melted, stirring constantly; add the ham cubes. Combine cheese mixture with undrained vegetables; stir to blend.
Pandora's tip: Do not cook this soup at a high temperature as it has the tendency to scorch.