Comforting and creamy broccoli cheddar soup is a fan-favorite! So easy to do, quick to make, and perfect for those cold weather evenings!
Brian usually hates soup.
But he had three bowls of broccoli cheddar soup last night. In fact, when I told him that I had to wait for the storm to pass before taking photos today, he was all like, “So that means I can’t eat the rest?”
So if that doesn’t tell you this recipe is legit, I don’t know what will.
I want you to keep this in your pocket for this winter guys. I know we don’t get much cold down here (though we were under 30 degrees F last winter in South Florida), but I want to make sure you guys have some good hot soup because the Farmers’ Almanac says it’s going to be super cold this year.
Keep those tootsies toasty, y’all. Brace yourself.
This recipe is not only easy peasy, but also fast as I don’t know what. What soups do you know take less than 30 minutes to make?
This broccoli cheddar soup is rich, creamy, cheesy, full of the good stuff. I want to call it almost identical to Panera’s, because I love making Panera Bread copycat recipes (like their white cheddar mac and cheese and the chipotle chicken panini), but Panera Bread uses processed cheddar cheese food in their broccoli cheddar soup recipe, along with a couple of other ingredients that I found weren’t necessary to make a delicious and fantastic broccoli cheese soup. Including dijon mustard.
I relate mustard in cheese recipes too close to macaroni and cheese. Since mustard amplifies a tangy cheese flavor, it’s so commonly used in mac and cheese that when I recipe tested this with it, I couldn’t stop thinking ‘mac and cheese’.
I love mac and cheese, but if I’m eating broccoli cheddar soup, I want to think ‘broccoli cheese soup’, not ‘mac and cheese’.
I feel that this recipe is simple and easy, while being utterly delicious and comforting. In other words, I think it’s the best broccoli cheese soup recipe you’ll find.
What makes this broccoli cheddar soup the best?
The broccoli is already steamed somewhat (because we’re using those steam-bag ones!) so that ‘green’, kinda bitter flavor that broccoli and other vegetables from the cruciferae family have won’t infuse into the soup itself since it’s not being cooked for a long period of time with the other soup ingredients.
The soup is thick, creamy, and incredibly flavorful; make sure you use really flavorful chicken stock because the flavor of the chicken stock itself is a basic part of making the broccoli cheddar soup delicious. You won’t get the same flavor if you just used water or only milk, it’ll turn out bland.
And the cheese y’all. As I always say when using cheese in soups and sauces: grate your own, and add it in over low (or no!) heat.
The dust on pre-shredded cheese makes it more difficult to melt cheese, and sharp cheddar is a harder cheese so it’s a little more finicky when it melts anyway and if you make the cheese too hot, it can break and get grainy and gross in your soup.
If you want to use mild cheddar, American cheese, Velveeta, colby, or whatever melts easier for you, go ahead! It’s your broccoli cheese soup, hon. Eat on.
Other Fantastic Soups I Love
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- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and shredded by a box grater
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2-2 cups half and half
- 2-3 cups frozen broccoli florets in a steamable bag, partially steamed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup sharp (or mild) cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion in the fat for 5-6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add in flour, and whisk together to cook out the raw flour, about a minute or so. Make sure to whisk constantly so the flour doesn't stick to the bottom.
- Gradually add in chicken stock, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking constantly. It will seize up before it gets smooth, so don't worry if it looks clumpy as you whisk in the stock. Finish adding in the stock, then pour in the half and half. Whisk to combine with the chicken stock, then turn heat up to medium high until soup begins to come to a lively simmer.
- Once soup starts to bubble a little, add the partially steamed broccoli and shredded carrots to the pot. Let cook for 4-7 minutes, or until both the broccoli and carrots are completely tender. If you want a smooth soup, puree either half or the entire pot of soup in a blender before adding cheese.
- Turn heat to off, and add the sharp cheddar cheese. Stir it in well, season with salt, cayenne, and pepper to taste, then serve hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 410 Total Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 16g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 79mg Sodium: 822mg Carbohydrates: 27g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 9g Protein: 15g