Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I have a recipe for a deliciously simple soup today: Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese. I have developed such a love for soup since starting this blog. But not just any soup – it must be homemade. Canned soup makes me cringe. I suppose I’m spoiled… But when fresh, wholesome soup is as easy and fast as this one there should be no excuse for opening up a can.

I ate Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup for lunch the other day and while it was totally satisfying at the time I wanted more! So much so that the very next day I adapted this Food Network knock-off. Although it is similar to Panera’s it isn’t an exact rendition.

My version is thicker and has a stronger, fresher broccoli flavor compared to Panera’s. The recipe did have an option of adding water at the end to thin out the soup but I skipped that step, not wanting to water down the flavor. The original recipe calls for simmering the broth first and adding the broccoli later…I added the broccoli sooner, shortening the cooking time and bringing out more flavor.

The soup is also flavored with onion, carrots, bay leaf, and a pinch of nutmeg. It all gets blended until smooth and creamy with little flecks of orange and green veggies throughout. It’s every bit as good as Panera’s if not better, and totally satisfied my every craving.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
(adapted from Food Network)
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Olive OIl
1 small Onion, diced
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
14 ounces Evaporated Milk or 1 + 3/4 cups Half-and-Half
3 cups Chicken Broth
4 cups Broccoli Florets, frozen or fresh
3/4 cup Carrots, diced
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 + 1/2 cups Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, plus more for garnish
Bread Bowls, for serving, optional
1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add the olive oil and onion, cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the evaporated milk or half-and-half until smooth.
2. Add the chicken broth, broccoli, carrots bay leaf, and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 -25 minutes.
3. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup, carefully in batches in a blender until smooth or use an immersion blender and puree right in the pot; you’ll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted.
4. Serve in bread bowls if desired with a garnish of cheese.

Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

I’m sending this to my lovely friend, Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays round-up!

I’m also sending this to my equally lovely friend Chaya of My Sweet and Savory for Meatless Mondays!

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