Skip the take-out line and make this homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup in the comfort of your kitchen! Inspired by a Panera Bread classic, this soup is lusciously creamy and cheesy! Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich for the ultimate cozy dinner. This recipe serves 6.
A week ago it was cold here in Michigan.
There air was just crisp enough so I could get away with wearing oversized sweatshirts, my favorite jeans and light a fall scented candle. Today it’s 77. Why does Michigan play with my heart like this? However, I’m not complaining. I know those frigid cold days will soon be here.
But luckily we will be prepared with this broccoli cheddar soup recipe.
If you’ve ever had Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup then you know you how good it is. What if I said this recipe was better? Honestly, what homemade soup isn’t? And the bonus is that you can skip the drive through line and make it in the comfort of your own kitchen.
I’d call that a win-win.
To Make This Broccoli Cheddar Soup You Will Need:
- unsalted butter
- broccoli florets
- yellow onion
- unbleached all-purpose flour
- half & half (or sub with 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream)
- low-sodium chicken broth
- extra sharp cheddar cheese (must be freshly grated)
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Start by melting 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a dutch oven.
Add in 10 ounce small broccoli florets, 1 medium diced yellow onion (about 1 cup), 1 julienned carrot (about 1/2 cup) with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
Cover and sauté for 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, pour 2 cups of both half & half and low-sodium chicken broth in a sauce pan and heat on low until warm. Heating the broth and milk beforehand help thicken the soup faster.
When the vegetables are tender, add the remaining 1/4 cup of butter to the pan and stir until melted.
Sprinkle in 1/4 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour. Stir often until the flour has absorbed the butter then cook 2 to 3 minutes.
While stirring, pour in the warm half & half and broth.
Grate in about 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg.
Simmer uncovered over medium to medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the soup has thickened.
For smaller broccoli pieces, use a potato masher to smash the broccoli and break it up.
Next add in half (roughly 4 ounces) of the freshly grated cheddar. Whether it’s white or yellow cheddar, that’s up to you!
Stir until melted and throughout the soup.
After you added the cheese, taste and season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – more or less to your liking.
Ladle soup into bowls.
Lastly, serve with a little extra cheddar on top.
Now you can inhale the whole bowl.
If you like a little sandwich action to tag along with your broccoli and cheddar soup, I’ve included my recipe for ham and cheese ciabatta sandwiches in the recipe printable. They are easily thrown together in seconds while your soup is bubbling away on the stove top. Dip, eat, repeat.
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Simple Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, julienned (about 1/2 cup)
- 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half & half, or sub with 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 10 ounces fresh broccoli florets, trimmed small
- 1/8 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- 7 ounces white, or yellow sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a dutch oven melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium to medium-low heat. Add broccoli, onions, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir, cover and cook until tender. About 12 minutes. This will depend on the size of your vegetables.
- Meanwhile, add broth and half & half to a small sauce pan and warm on low heat. No need to boil, you just want the liquids warm.
- Once the vegetables are tender, add in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, stir until melted. Sprinkle in the flour. Continue stirring until the butter has absorbed the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir while pouring in the warm broth and half & half. Grate in the nutmeg.
- Simmer uncovered over medium to medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the soup has thickened.
- For smaller pieces of broccoli, use a potato masher to smash the broccoli and break it up.
- Turn the heat off and add in half of the grated cheddar cheese and heat through.
- Taste and season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less to your preference) and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with a little of the remaining cheddar cheese.
Serve with Ciabatta Ham SANDWICHES:you will need: 4 mini ciabatta loaves (or your favorite roll) 8 slices of ham (like Boar's Head tavern ham or Virginia ham) 4 slices of brick cheese, farmer's cheese or white american cheese
- Cut the mini ciabatta loaves in half horizontally.
- Place two slices of ham in each bottom half.
- Top with a piece of cheese and wrap in foil.
- Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes.
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