Broccoli cheese soup never goes out of style! This Panera copycat is packed with oodles of broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, carrots, half & half and cream cheese. My secret weapon.
The soup comes together quickly starting with onion and garlic for flavor and flour as a thickening agent. Chicken broth, half & half, broccoli and carrots along with seasonings are added to simmer for half an hour then the soup is pureed with a blender.
The last step is to add lots of cheddar cheese then. . .partly because I couldn’t help myself and partly because I read somewhere that it was in Panera’s version you add a half a block of cream cheese. When you think this already rich, creamy and cheesy soup can’t possibly be any richer, creamier or cheesier – in the space of few seconds – it’s elevated.
The soup is like green, liquid velvet with speckles of broccoli and carrot. You can make it as smooth or as chunky as you like. I think it’s best mostly smooth with some small pieces of vegetables floating around like you get at Panera. One of my favorite places on Earth.
I could eat this every. single. day. for the rest of my life! It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I can easily find happiness in a bowl of soup.
Right here is all the proof you need.
A Panera copycat Broccoli Cheese Soup.
- Heat the butter an oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, stirring often about 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook until fragrant about 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour and cook 3 to 4 minutes stirring often then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth followed by the chicken broth.
- Add the broccoli, carrot, bay leaves, nutmeg and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes, tasting halfway through and again at the end and seasoning with more salt and pepper as needed.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup with an immersion blender right in the pot or in batches in a blender until smooth (hold the lid down with a kitchen towel so it doesn't blow off from the steam) if you like you can leave some of the broccoli florets whole for texture.
- Return the soup to the pot over low heat. Add the cream cheese and shredded cheese to the soup and whisk/stir until completely melted. Serve with additional cheese for garnish.
Adapted from Food Network
Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved.