This easy Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is based upon Panera’s, but if you ask me, it’s better! If you love Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, you are going to be amazed with this copycat recipe!
AN EASY BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP RECIPE
Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheese Soup? You be the judge! Thick, rich, creamy, cheesy comfort in a soup bowl with tender broccoli and cheddar cheese, just the way I love it!
This is an older recipe from the Diethood Archives, now updated with fresh content and photos. Original post/recipe published on 4/18/2011.
Hi-Ya, friends! Happy about-to-be-the-weekend! What are your plans? Any parties to attend?? I have a wedding to go to tomorrow night and a pre-party tonight, AND I couldn’t be more excited! I get to hang out with all my besties, eat cake and drink champagne! It’s a hard knock life.
Soooo, since I’ll be a bit tied up with trying to get my party dress on, and fixing my face, and getting my hair did – it’s going to be a busy 2 days – I thought this was the best time to share one of my recipes from the Diethood Archives. I posted this recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup back in 2011, when Diethood was just a few months old. [[[[applause]]]] 😉
BROCCOLI + CHEESE = SOUP MAGIC
With that said, do you know 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… delicious!! Actually, the taste is beyond delicious. This soup is seriously, SO 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/Cheddar Soup” in 1994), 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!
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP:
- Broccoli, butter, onion, flour, milk, vegetable broth, carrots, salt, paprika, nutmeg, and cheddar cheese.
- Throw all of that, step by step, in a soup pot and let it do its thing. 35 ish minutes later, this is what you get.
I believe it tastes even better than Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup, but, you be the judge – give it a go, you’ll see.
HOW TO STORE COOKED BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
- Transfer cooled soup to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator.
- Soup in the refrigerator stays good for up to 4 days.
HOW TO FREEZE BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
- Let soup cool completely and transfer it to large freezer bags.
- Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, defrost in the fridge over night, then add the soup to a saucepan and reheat over medium heat. If soup is too thick, add water, broth, or cream, couple tablespoons at a time to reach desired consistency.
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WATCH HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
- 5 tablespoons butter , divided
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- 3 carrots , sliced into thin rounds
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 ounces low fat shredded cheddar cheese
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan or soup pot.
- Add onion, garlic, carrots, and pinch of salt; cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the butter and melt.
- Whisk in flour; whisk until incorporated.
- Slowly add milk and continue to whisk until everything is well combined and there are no clumps.
- Whisk in chicken broth, add bay leaf, and turn up heat to high; bring soup to a boil.
- Add the broccoli florets, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Pour batches of soup into a blender or a food processor, and puree.
- Return soup to the soup-pot; continue to cook over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until melted and completely combined.
- Stir in the paprika and nutmeg.
- Remove from heat.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.