A rich, thick, creamy, and cheesy Broccoli Cheese Soup. So filling it works as a stand alone meal. What could be more satisfying on a cold evening?
When I go to Panera Bread I love to do the You Pick Two with soup and salad. My favorite soup is the Cheddar Broccoli Soup. Judging by the number of copycat recipes of it on Pinterest, it’s most people’s favorite. And what’s not to love about broccoli and cheese?
As good as Panera’s soup is, homemade Broccoli Cheddar soup is so much better. It has a much fresher taste and I find that a broccoli and cheese soup is the one soup that tastes best served just after it is made.
Three kinds of cheese (and lots of them!) make this soup fantastically cheesy. There’s fontina, white cheddar (you could use yellow), and cream cheese which really adds a wonderful creaminess.
There’s no need to cook the broccoli ahead of time, that just adds an extra step. Cut it into small pieces and let it cook in the soup instead. Once it’s cooked I like to take a potato masher and break the broccoli up some. It helps thicken the soup and it’s easier to eat when you only have small pieces of broccoli in the soup.
You can make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 8 cups chopped broccoli, small bite-sized pieces
- 1 (8-ounce) block Fontina cheese, shredded
- 1 (8-ounce) block white Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over onion/carrot mixture. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
- Gradually add chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add half-and-half. Bring to a simmer.
- Add broccoli and stir into mixture. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If desired, use a potato masher to break broccoli up some.
- Turn heat to low. Add shredded cheeses. Stir until melted. Add cream cheese in small chunks and whisk well to combine.
- Stir in salt, peppers, and garlic powder.
- Let simmer for a few minutes and serve.
For Dessert try a Samoa Bundt Cake!
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