Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup starts with a rich roux to thicken the soup with cream, vegetable stock, perfectly blended spices, tender broccoli and carrots and cheddar cheese. Dip baguettes into a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day. This recipe is a Panera Breads copy cat and tastes just like the real thing.
It’s getting to be that time of year again where all I want to eat and come home to is hot soup on a cold winter day. I’ll admit, that first cold chill didn’t start until I visited Wisconsin and now I have a permanent chill running through my body.
Soup has always been a classic comfort food, something to look forward to at the end of each day and something that smells wonderful making in the house. Homemade soup is the best and it’s something everyone should try at one point or another. To me, soup is very much the “meat and potatoes” of winter and is very fulfilling.
I’ve dreamed about Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup long enough and have been making it for our family for the past year. Homemade soup truly is a beautiful thing. Not only are we saving money by making this at home but we get to enjoy all the leftovers the next day! I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that besides the amazing aroma throughout the house while this is cooking on the stove top.
If you’re a soup fan, you’ll really love this recipe. We love love love to eat this a few times a month. It’s super easy to make, it’s very filling and tastes just like the real deal but better.
Making the perfect roux for a thick soup is important and couldn’t be any easier. The most important part of making this roux is to give it time to brown and cook off some of that flour taste that would otherwise permeate into the soup.
Since we are making a butter roux, I browned the onions and some garlic in it first which also gives it a nice flavor that will carry over during cooking.
It’s important to continuously stir or whisk the roux as we want to thicken it up before adding our cream and stock to the pot.
By the time the cream and stock get mixed into the roux, the base of the soup is done and all that needs to be cooked are the broccoli and carrots. I usually give a good amount of time for the vegetables to soften in the pot before adding the cheese. Once it’s seasoned to perfection and the vegetables are done, it’s time for the shredded cheddar cheese to be added.
This soup will truly become a family favorite like it is in our house. It’s great to make whether it’s a cold and rainy day or a nice home cooked meal for the family.
Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion , finely chopped
- 1-2 gloves garlic , minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour + 1 tablespoon
- 3 cups half & half
- 2 1/2 cups broth/stock (chicken or vegetable stock)
- 3-4 carrots , thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 cups broccoli , chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 1/2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese , shredded
Thinly chop carrots and quarter broccoli florets.
In a large stockpot set over over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add chopped onions then brown for about 4 minutes and add minced garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove onions; set aside. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in the pot then add flour and stir. Whisk or mix the mixture together constantly for about 5 minutes, until a nice brown forms. This step is important because it will thicken the soup.
Slowly add in half & half, about 1 cup at a time then add in broth/stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring well between adding to dissolve any chunks. Stir in chopped carrots, broccoli, garlic/onion mixture and seasoning and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Once vegetables are soft, stir in shredded cheese and allow to melt before serving in a bowl. Serve with french bread.