Broccoli Cheese Soup

In the midst of a torrential downpour and imminent tornado danger, what can be better than taking cover in your basement? Well, eating comfort food, of course. Not even sure if I was going to be able to make dinner tonight, due to the roof potentially being torn off our house, I decided to make my favorite broccoli cheese soup anyway, once I knew the coast was clear. Comfort food calms your nerves (especially the little ones who were terrified,) and fills your belly with a smile (and some relief.) Although three tornados did actually touch down today, no one was injured and minimal damage was done, thank goodness :)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups sliced baby carrots (3/8" to 1/2" pieces)
3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise then sliced into 3/8" to 1/2" pieces
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 cups fresh broccoli, cut into medium florets
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2  cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 pound Velveeta cheese, diced into 1/2" cubes
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Add oil to large pot. Over medium heat, cook onion, carrots and celery with pepper for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add broccoli florets, return heat to high, cover and cook for 7 more minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered.

In a medium pot, over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and dry mustard and whisk until well combined. Slowly add milk and stir frequently until thickened. Add cubed cheese and stir until melted. Add cheese mixture to vegetables and stir until combined. Serves 4-6.