panera copycat broccoli cheddar soup in white bowl crusty bread on side
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Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This easy broccoli cheddar soup is thick, creamy, cheesy and loaded with flavors. It’s better-than-panera-bread-soup. Don’t forget warm crusty bread to dunk into this filling, comforting and hearty soup.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: soups
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 467kcal
Author: Jyothi Rajesh

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of broccoli florets chopped into small pieces
  • 2 carrots diced fine or grated
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ cups half n half cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder I skipped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated

To Serve

  • Warm crusty bread to serve

Instructions

  • In a soup pot, melt butter.
  • In melted butter saute diced yellow onions and minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes until onions begins to sweat.
  • To make roux (to thicken the soup) add all-purpose flour(for gluten free option use gluten-free all purpose flour). Using a whisk, mix flour in butter and cook on low flame for about 2 minutes. Do not stop whisking.
  • Pour chicken stock gradually while whisking flour and cooking it.
  • Add the half n half as well. Continue to whisk and cook for 3 to 3 minutes.
  • Add in diced carrots and finely chopped broccoli. Use grated carrots and chop broccoli fine if you don’t want to blend this soup and if you like to leave it chunky.
  • Add in all the spice powders. Freshly ground pepper, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika and nutmeg(I skipped nutmeg) to the soup pot. Mix well until combined.
  • Cover soup pot with lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes on low flame until broccoli and carrots are cooked and tender.
  • If you want to have smooth creamy soup, blend it with immersion blender. Skip blending if you like chunky soup.
  • Blend soup. If you liked smooth creamy soup, blend for few extra seconds. Or you want to leave some chunks do not blend all the way.
  • Turn off flame. Add cheese in 3-4 parts.
  • Cook’s Tip : Make sure heat is off before you start adding cheese to the soup and stir until all cheese melts. Add the next portion of cheese only after the first batch of cheese is completely melted. This will prevent cheese turning grainy.
  • Once all cheese is added to soup pot and it’s melted, serve immediately hot in bread bowl and in regular soup bowl with crusty bread to dunk.
  • Garnish with steamed broccoli florets and extra cheddar cheese on top before serving.

Video

Notes

  1. Chop vegetables fine to help turn veggies tender fast. It’s also easy to eat the soup with finely chopped vegetables.
  2. Do not add salt to the soup at the beginning of cooking. Cheese and stock will have enough salt. Taste and add salt only if necessary at the end. Else you’ll end up with salty soup.
  3. Pureeing soup is completely your choice. There are 3 ways to serve this soup –
Serve it chunky consistency with vegetables cooked to tender and left as it is in the soup.
Blend soup using immersion blender until it smooth and creamy.
Or blend half quantity of soup into smooth texture and leave the other half chunky without blending. You’ll have soup that is creamy and has chunky bits to bite into.
  1. For best results use fresh vegetables instead of frozen veggies.
  2. To prevent grainy soup, use freshly grated cheese instead of pre-grated cheese which more likely has fillers and preservative. Also do not add cheese while soup is boiling on stove. Turn off heat and stir in half full of cheese at t time, stirring until cheese melts. Add next portion of cheese only after all added cheese is melted.
  3. To get thick, rich tasting soup use half n half cream or heavy cream. I wouldn’t recommend milk if you are after rich soup.
  4. Adding paprika and cayenne pepper is optional, but highly recommended. It adds heat to the soup which goes so well with the heaviness and rich taste.
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Nutrition values mentioned below are for one large bowl serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 627mg | Potassium: 1153mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6704IU | Vitamin C: 222mg | Calcium: 601mg | Iron: 3mg