Nothing says comfort better than a piping hot bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Serve this delicious, cheesy soup with a warm crusty baguette and one might think they are sitting inside Panera.
This soup may look like it takes hours to cook, but with a few shortcuts, this can be on the table in under 45 minutes. Let us show you how.
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- In order to have a creamy semi thick soup, such as this one, there needs to be a thickener, which is called a roux. A roux is (usually) equal parts melted butter to flour (this of course can vary depending on how thick you like your soup) and adding a liquid.
- A critical step in making a roux is cooking the flour. Flour, when not cooked for about a minute, can still have a raw floury taste which will be present when eaten. Therefore, it’s important to whisk the flour in and allow it to cook for about a minute until it darkens just a bit.
- Then add the broth, slowly, ½ cup or so and stir. It will become one big lump. Add more broth, stir. It should become looser and finally add the remaining broth while continuously whisking.
- Once all the chicken broth has been added and there are no lumps, add the cream.
- Add all the spices, broccoli and carrots.
- Last, add the cheese.
- Exact cutting of the broccoli isn’t necessary, as it gets chopped pretty small with the help of the immersion blender.
- The immersion blender also helps thicken the soup.
- Don’t have the time or patience to julienne a bunch of carrots? No problem. Purchase the matchstick carrots in the produce section and add them. Again, with the help of the immersion blender, they too, will come out perfect.
Now tell us you don’t want to stop what you’re doing and make a huge pot of this soup right now!
One of the most popular recipes on Panera’s menu is the Broccoli and cheddar soup. Now you can recreate this delicious soup making it as thick or chunky as you like, right at home!
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 Onion, chopped
- ½ Cup All-purpose flour
- 4 Cups Chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 Cups Half and half
- 4 Cups Broccoli florets
- 2 Cups Carrots (buy precut matchstick carrots for a shortcut)
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 3 Cups Cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
- Melt butter in a Dutch oven over a medium-high heat.
- Add in the onions and sauté until they become soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the flour and whisk together to form a roux, cook for about 1 minute whisking often.
- Pour in ½ cup of the broth, whisking as you go. Add in another ½ cup, whisking. Then add the remaining broth.
- Next, add the the half and half, slowly whisking. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, whisking often to get out all the lumps
- Add in the spices, broccoli and carrots.
- Remove from heat and blend using an immersion blender. A few pulses up and down is all that is needed. A blender or food processor may also be used by removing 1 -2 cups of the soup.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soup has thickened and the vegetables are fork tender, stir occasionally.
- Add cheddar cheese a handful at a time, stirring to incorporate after each handful.
- Season with extra salt and pepper as need and serve immediately.
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