Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Panera Bread is known for their famous, delicious broccoli cheddar soup and this is a copy-cat recipe. It’s made with fresh broccoli and lots of cheddar cheese. Serve for lunch or dinner with a side of crusty bread!
Have you ever had Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup before? Everyone I know who has tried it LOVES it. I went to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Syracuse a couple days before Christmas and my sister-in-law made this soup for lunch. Immediately after taking my first bite, I asked her for the recipe because it was THAT good. She made it with vegetable broth since my aunts that were eating lunch with us that day are both vegetarian. I just loved it so much and knew I had to make it at home right away so my hubby could try it. Now I can make Panera-style broccoli cheese soup right in my own kitchen – so exciting! Of course, I had to serve it in bread bowls to make it extra fun to eat.
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- ½ medium chopped white onion
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 2 cups chicken stock (can use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian!)
- ½ lb fresh or frozen broccoli
- 1 cup carrot, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a pot over medium heat and sauté the onion in it.
- Set the onions aside.
- Melt the ¼ cup butter in the same pot and then add flour and stir together using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir constantly to prevent burning and then add the half & half.
- Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, carrots and cooked onions. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- At this point, the soup can be puréed in a blender, but you don’t have to. I did puree half of it so that half was smooth and some chunks of broccoli and carrots remain. (Note: be cautious putting hot liquids in the blender – it expands from the steam! Only do a SMALL amount at a time and hold a dish towel over the top while blending just in case OR wait until it cools before blending then reheat afterward! Use an immersion blender if you have one – that would be easier.)
- Return soup to heat and stir in the cheddar cheese.
- Stir in nutmeg.
- Once all is hot and blended, serve in regular bowls or bread bowls. Enjoy!
Recipe source: adapted from food.com