This easy Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is based on 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!
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!
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! 🥂
Soo, 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 two 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. 👏 👏 👏
Broccoli + Cheese is 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 HOWEVER. ✋ Put a bowl of soup with it in front of me? With lotsa cheese?! I was game. Still AM! 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. 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” in 1996), 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 even better (WAY better) than Panera’s, but you be the judge, boo! Give it a go, I think you’ll agree with me. 🤞
- Onions and Garlic
- Chicken Broth
- Broccoli Florets
How To Make Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Sauté the onions, garlic, and carrots in 2 tablespoons butter.
- Whisk in the flour and add milk, whisking until everything is well combined.
- Stir in the chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth) and bring to a boil.
- Add in the broccoli, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Pour the soup into a blender – or use an immersion blender – and blend until smooth.
- Return soup to the pot and stir in the cheese. Cook until melted. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust to your liking.
- Remove from heat and serve.
How To Store Soup
- Transfer cooled soup to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator.
- Soup in the refrigerator stays good for up to 4 days.
Instructions 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 overnight, then add the soup to a saucepan and reheat over medium heat. If soup is too thick, add water or broth, couple tablespoons at a time, to reach desired consistency.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 16 ounces broccoli florets, thaw if frozen
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 8 ounces low fat shredded cheddar cheese
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan or soup pot.
- Add onion, garlic, carrots, and salt to the melted butter and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Add the rest of the butter and melt.
- Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk until incorporated.
- Slowly add milk and 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 soup with salt and pepper, and cook the soup over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour batches of soup into a high-powered blender or a food processor, and process until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender.
- Return soup to the pot; continue to cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Add in the cheese and stir until melted and completely combined.
- Stir in the paprika and nutmeg. Taste the soup for salt, pepper, and seasonings, and adjust accordingly.
- Remove from heat.
- Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.