broccoli cheese soup

(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.

broccoli cheese soup

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.



Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • 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
  1. In a small pan, heat the butter and saute the chopped onion. Set aside.
  2. Next you need to prepare the roux; cook butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir constantly.
  3. Slowly add in the milk and continue to whisk.
  4. Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the broccoli, carrots and sautéed onions.
  6. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Pour in batches into blender, or a food processor, and puree.
  9. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended.
  10. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Recipe also featured on Foodbeast.





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40 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. sarah April 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM - Reply

    OH I so love Panera’s broccoli chedder soup-can’t wait to try your recipe!!

  2. kristina April 19, 2011 at 4:32 PM - Reply

    Mmm…that looks so good!

  3. Firefly April 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM - Reply

    I need to make this, that way I’ll make less visits to Panera LOL thanks for sharing!

  4. Fresh and Foodie April 19, 2011 at 3:06 PM - Reply

    Broccoli cheese soup is probably my all-time favorite! Yours certainly looks great — will definitely check out your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Juliana April 19, 2011 at 2:29 PM - Reply

    This soup looks very inviting…love the idea of broccoli and carrots…creamy and tasty. Have a great week :-)

  6. Celia April 19, 2011 at 1:39 PM - Reply

    Love the addition of carrot to this soup! It’s grey and rainy out here in NY and I could totally use a warm, cheesy, cheery bowl of this…yum!

  7. torviewtoronto April 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM - Reply

    yummy combination for a delightful soup

  8. Magic of Spice April 19, 2011 at 1:05 PM - Reply

    Looks so delicious…I have always loved broccoli actually and the pairing with carrot sounds wonderful :)

  9. Emily @ Life On Food April 19, 2011 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    This is one of my favorite soups. I made it for the first time recently and the cheese flavor was not nearly as strong as I would have liked. I will try this out soon!

  10. Maris (In Good Taste) April 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM - Reply

    This is one of my very favorite soups. looks so creamy and delicious!

  11. Kristen April 19, 2011 at 8:11 AM - Reply

    That soup looks amazing. ..who cares if it isn’t good for me!

  12. Jill Colonna April 19, 2011 at 7:11 AM - Reply

    Kate, now I could eat this every day. Gorgeously tasty!

  13. yesim April 19, 2011 at 1:32 AM - Reply

    i love soup , and i love broccoli soup as well but as u mentioned when u add milk and butter and egg , it become more calory and not so healthy:(
    but tasty anyway:)

  14. Priscilla - She's Cookin' April 18, 2011 at 11:57 PM - Reply

    I guess I’ve been missing out – never had Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup – but yours looks pretty terrific, so I’ll take your word for it :)

  15. Krissyp April 18, 2011 at 9:36 PM - Reply

    Looks wonderful Kate and I see NOTHING unhealthy about this. We need calcium and vit D so why not combine broccoli and carrots with milk and cheese…into a great big bowl of “more please.” This is real food, if we were all eating more like this and less of that processed junk diabetes would not be as prevalant, thyroid issues would auto correct with adequate vitamin D levels, and we would all have strong bones ;) I was really craving soup this week, I may pair this up with your whole wheat bread (the quick stuff). Thanks for sharing!

  16. MarmandeintheKitchen April 18, 2011 at 9:28 PM - Reply

    Broccoli cheese soup is one of my favorites, and this one looks especially good!

  17. kita April 18, 2011 at 8:42 PM - Reply

    I love broccoli and cheese soup. Every guilt inducing bite of it. I could really go for a bowl of this right now.

  18. Dee April 18, 2011 at 8:16 PM - Reply

    My little one loves this soup! I will have to make it for her so she can compare.

  19. Karen April 18, 2011 at 8:12 PM - Reply

    Yes, cheese and milk do tend to make things better, don’t they. This soup looks delish! A sure-fire way to get broccoli haters to eat their greens!

  20. Kankana April 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM - Reply

    It looks so creamy and fresh :) I have some broccoli at home, high time I makes some soup !

  21. kitchenarian April 18, 2011 at 7:38 PM - Reply

    Beautiful picture! It looks so good. Going to Foodbeast now…

  22. fooddreamer April 18, 2011 at 7:25 PM - Reply

    I don’t know that I’ve ever had Panera’s version, but I really did love the Cook’s Illustrated version I made recently. Yours looks great too!

  23. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 18, 2011 at 7:25 PM - Reply

    Hi Kate! Thanks for your kind comment over on my site. This broccoli cheese soup looks fantastic and SO flavorful! It may be warming up around here, but I can always use another excuse to use my immersion blender! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe. :) Have a great week!

  24. Claudie April 18, 2011 at 7:21 PM - Reply

    There’s just one thing I will disagree with :-D I will claim that even with its milk and cheese, this soup is healthy hehe. I mean, how can something which tastes so good be unhealthy? :-P I think it’d make a perfect dinner for the cold Monday evening we have here in San Fran! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Happy When Not Hungry April 18, 2011 at 6:53 PM - Reply

    Love Panera’s broccoli and cheese soup! Will def have to try this one!

  26. Sandra's Easy Cooking April 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM - Reply

    Beautiful presentation as well as your photos! Great recipe, didn’t try broccoli soup before because I love them mostly raw but will give it try soon! Thanks for sharing!

    • Krissyp April 18, 2011 at 9:41 PM - Reply

      Hey Sandra, saw your response to this wonderful recipe and wanted to mention that steamed broccoli is better than raw if trying to lower cholesterol (it binds better with bile salts and helps to reduce cholesterol that way). Jusy a little tip. So eat it raw and steamed ;)

  27. Liz April 18, 2011 at 3:42 PM - Reply

    Oh, how yummy!!! I have a feeling there will be a few more soup worthy days left this spring…and I will definitely put this on the menu!

  28. The Farmers Wife April 18, 2011 at 2:57 PM - Reply

    Love broccoli cheese soup, especially panera’s! I miss their soup so much… Yours looks incredible!

  29. Kate April 18, 2011 at 2:43 PM - Reply

    If this is Panera’s broccoli and cheese soup than this blog post is gold! I am about to do the same and heat right over to foodbeast as we speak! Cannot WAIT to try this!

  30. Sandra April 18, 2011 at 2:37 PM - Reply

    In a moment of weakness about a month ago, I bought a couple pkgs of seasonings for Broccoli Cheese Soup. Right now I haven’t the faintest idea where it is. That’s probably a good thing, I’d prefer to make this one.

  31. Lauren April 18, 2011 at 2:22 PM - Reply

    Yum Yum. Ill take a gallon of this please! ;)

  32. Ha! I saw the title and thought there was NO way you were able t make broccoli cheese soup low fat and tasting good. I’m glad to see that you didn’t even try. I can’t wait to give this a go though. Thanks for doing the research for us!

    • Kate@Diethood April 18, 2011 at 2:21 PM - Reply

      Not that I haven’t tried to slow this one down on the cals… but the truth of the matter is that it tastes best with all the high-calorie goodness in there. :)

  33. Parsley Sage April 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM - Reply

    Footbeast, here I come. Love me some broccoli cheese soup :)

  34. Charlie April 18, 2011 at 2:00 PM - Reply

    I love broccoli. Even loved it as a child ;).
    Broccoli soup is one of my favorites but I actually never had broccoli cheese soup! But I had broccoli with cheese & I know it is delicious :).

  35. Kristy April 18, 2011 at 1:54 PM - Reply

    Mmmm. And in a bread bowl would be great too! Covering broccoli in cheese is still the only way I can eat it!

  36. Lauren @ L-Mo Cooks April 18, 2011 at 1:53 PM - Reply

    Well I guess I’ll be going over to Foodbeast. Baby lady adores Panera’s broccoli cheese soup, so it’s essential that I learn how!

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