1largebroccoli headstems removed and chopped into florets (about 4 cups florets)
2-1/2cupsshredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook 3-4 minutes, until golden. Gradually whisk in the cream and milk until smooth.
Add the chicken stock and bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the broccoli and carrots and continue cooking over low heat an additional 20 minutes, or until broccoli and carrots are tender.
Add the cheese and nutmeg and stir over low heat until cheese has melted.
Note - Half-and-half may be substituted for the milk and heavy cream.