(Panera Copycat? You be the judge.)
What happens when you take two very very healthy vegetables, broccoli and carrots, and marry them with milk and cheese? You make them very very unhealthy… and very very good!
One of the things I could not eat as a child was broccoli, but put a bowl of soup with it in front of me (with cheese), and I was game. This probably goes for most of you, too. Those green trees just weren’t very appealing back then. Even now, for some.
When we came to the States, and when I discovered that this bowl of deliciousness existed, I thought that soup couldn’t get better than this. Then, years later, I discovered Panera and its broccoli cheese soup – oh my bejesus! Now, for real, soup could not get better than that! Have you had their soup? I wanted to have it every day (and I did for about two weeks), so I had to find out how to make this at home.
During my long extensive search (Google couldn’t produce results for “Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup” few years ago), I ran into someone who swore that they had the recipe, and it couldn’t be any different than the real stuff. I took down the recipe, followed it to the “T”, and every dotted “i’”, and low and behold, this is it!
I believe it tastes just like it. But, you be the judge – give it a go, you’ll see.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ pound fresh broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 cup carrots, (about 3 large carrots) chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- In a small pan, heat the butter and saute the chopped onion. Set aside.
- Next you need to prepare the roux; cook butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir constantly.
- Slowly add in the milk and continue to whisk.
- Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, carrots and sautéed onions.
- Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Pour in batches into blender, or a food processor, and puree.
- Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended.
- Stir in the nutmeg and serve.
Recipe also featured on Foodbeast.