This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. Full Disclosure Policy.
A gorgeous, rich and cheesy broccoli cheddar soup, perfect for feeding the family, and your soul! Enjoy this delicious, rich and flavorful version of a classic.
Soup – glorious soup!! I love the soup they have at Panera Bread (Paradise Bakery in some places), and almost always opt for a big bowl of this when they have it. This soup is warming and really hits the spot on a cold winter day. I’ve been known to order this in summer, too.
After eating this at every opportunity in restaurants – making it at home was always going to happen – but it was a tall order.
Could I really replicate it and love it as much as the original? Um. Yes. This is the ultimate comfort food for my family (and yours!).
The Husband, thankfully, is one of those people that agrees with me that soup can be an entire meal (if you have enough of it) and happily ate a big serving of this. He said “this is likely the best soup you’ve ever made, it’s a great recipe! Now… I make a LOT of soup, so hearing that made me sure that this version is a winner.
About the Cheddar Cheese: DO take the extra step to grate your own. Pre-shredded has additives that make this soup gritty and you really want it to be smooth and silky. You just DO.
It is absolutely delicious and ready in under 20 minutes (beats that 30 minute dinner rush, right?
I hope you enjoy this delicious, rich and flavorful version of an old favorite!
You absolutely CAN, but because it is dairy-based, some separation may occur. Ensure it is totally cooled before packaging up.
Fill a container to about a 1/2 inch from the top. Seal, and freeze. Devour within 2 months.
Because it is freshly prepared and does not contain preservatives, the soup is best eaten with 3 days. Be sure to store in the refrigerator, and heat until piping hot!
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Butter. I use salted butter.
- Onion & Garlic
- Flour. All purpose flour.
- Half & Half. This is a blend of milk and heavy cream.
- Chicken Stock. Grab a carton, or make your own!
- Broccoli. Cut the broccoli into small florets.
- Cheddar Cheese. Grate your own, I beg you!
- Salt and Pepper
How to make this recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté onions and garlic in melted butter, and add the flour. Let it cook a little over medium high heat, and add the half & half and chicken stock (vegetable stock or chicken broth may, of course, be used).
Simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, then add the fresh broccoli florets.
Continue to simmer until the broccoli is tender, but still bright green, then remove half (or all) of the soup and puree in a blender, or use an immersion blender to get the consistency you want.
SAFETY TIP: if you are using a blender, please hang onto the lid! Heat/steam causes the soup to be a little volatile (aka explode-), so be careful! You can also use an Immersion Blender if that is what you have!
After blending, return the soup to the pot, and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.
Season with salt and ground black pepper.
You may like to add shredded carrots at the same time as the broccoli if you are going for a full copycat of Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup!
Want to use homemade chicken stock? Check out my recipe for how to make chicken stock!
Other soups to love
- Butternut Squash Soup (with apple) – my all-time favorite soup, it’s healthy AND low-fat!
- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup – hearty and warming with just the right amount of spice, blended with cheese, topped off with jalapenos, cilantro, and crispy tortilla strips.
- Thick & Creamy New England Clam Chowder – an old classic, but a good one! It has bacon, so I mean…
- Best Ever Corn Chowder – quite a lofty title, but it’s true. It really is the best!
- ALL SOUP RECIPES:
Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup butter ((melted) not a typo – you need 2 amounts of butter)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups half & half
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable (to be vegetarian))
- 1 lb broccoli (stems included)
- Salt and pepper
- 12 oz cheddar cheese (freshly grated )
- In a large saucepan, heat the butter until melted, then cook the onions until softened.
- Add the garlic, and cook 30 seconds more, then remove onions/garlic and set aside.
- Add the second amount of butter to the saucepan, melt, then blend the flour in with a whisk.
- Whisk in the half & half, then add the chicken stock.
- Simmer (do not boil) until thickened.
- Add the broccoli, cooked onions/garlic, and simmer over low heat until the broccoli is tender, but still bright green.
- Season to taste.
- Remove from heat and puree all or half (if you like it chunky) in a blender.
- Return to heat, and stir in the cheddar.
- Serve, with extra cheese on the top.
- Then, get a second bowl after you ate the first.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Update: This was originally posted in December of 2015, and has been updated to improve reader experience.