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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.
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 CHEESE: DO take the extra step to grate your own. Pre-grated 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. I hope you enjoy this delicious, rich and flavorful version of an old favorite!
How to make this recipe:
Very simple! In a large pot or dutch oven, saute onions and garlic in melted butter, and add some flour. Let it cook a little, 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.
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!
FAQs and Kylee’s Notes
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!
Can you freeze this? You absolutely CAN, but because it is dairy-based, some separation may occur. Ensure it is totally cooled before packaging up. Fill a container til about a 1/2 inch from the top. Seal, and freeze. Devour within 2 months.
How long will this soup last? 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!
OTHER SOUPS YOU SIMPLY MUST TRY:
- 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:
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Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 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 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.
Update: This was originally posted in December of 2015, and has been updated to improve reader experience.