6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups half and half
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1 large carrot, diced
2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat.
Add onion and carrots, cook until tender.
Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 or 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half and half until smooth.
Add the chicken broth and bay leaves, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
DIscard the bay leaves.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth or use an emersion blender.
You may add all the cheese to the soup and whisk until melted or if you prefer, ladle soup into bowls and top with desired amount of cheese.