Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Despite the fact that it was 75 degrees and sunny last weekend, it is fall and I crave soup.  I had flagged this recipe on Prevention RD, originally from Food Network, and decided to give it a go.  It has such a delicious flavor, though it isn't too cheesy.  The sweet potato and russet potato gives the soup the thickness it needs without the need for too much cheese.  This was great paired with some homemade rolls, but it tasted better when I reheated it for lunch the next day!

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
3 Celery Stalks, finely chopped
2 cups Vegetable Broth
1 cup Half and Half (I omitted)
1 cup Skim Milk (I used 2 cups Almond Milk instead)
2 cups Water
1 pound Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound Sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper
6 cups Broccoli Florets, chopped
5 ounces (1 1/3 cups) Cheddar Cheese, shredded

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth, half and half, milk, both potatoes, bay leaf, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, put the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of water and season with salt.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.  When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf front he soup and puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.  Return the soup to a simmer over medium-low heat and stir in the broccoli, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the cheese and stir until melted.