There’s nothing like a warm bowl of broccoli cheddar soup to indulge in. It goes great when eaten with bread and even better paired with nothing other than a homemade bread bowl. I first had this delicious dish at Panera Bread and learned how to make it soon after, because nothing beats fresh ingredients. I’ve also tried it at McAllister’s, yet theirs lacked the rich creaminess I had gotten used to and reminded me how much I loved this original and home cooked recipe. In restaurants, we are always limited to one bowl and if we crave another, then we would have to buy it again. If only soup was served like drinks, with free refills. On the other hand, at home, you can gladly pour yourself another bowl of this creamy deliciousness with nothing stopping you. You are limitless.
Homemade bread bowls compliment this soup like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For a quick and easy recipe that is hard to resist, check out my previous post on how to make the perfect bread bowl!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
- 4 cups broccoli, chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 8 ounces (about 2 ½ cups) sharp cheddar cheese
- Optional: French bread, baguette, bread bowls
- Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions and cook until softer for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the flour and stir frequently for about 3 minutes using a wooden spoon or a whisk. It will start to thicken and look clumpy as the butter absorbs the flour.
- Gradually add the heavy cream, whisking constantly, until smooth before each addition.
- Stir in the chicken broth, bay leaves, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to low heat so that it can simmer for about 20 minutes. You will notice it start to thicken.
- Add in the chopped broccoli and carrots. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Discard the bay leaves.
- Remove from heat and use an immersion blender or standing blender to puree the soup to your liking.
- Add in the shredded cheese and mix until melted and incorporated.
*For quicker results you can use frozen broccoli and carrots. I always recommend fresh ingredients if the time permits for maximum flavor potential
*If desired, a healthier version can be made by subbing the heavy cream for low fat/fat free milk.
*Doubling this recipe ensures leftovers for the next day, so definitely something to ponder over
*Test taste the soup throughout the process and add more spices and seasoning if you see fitted
Pileup of Ingredients
Along the Way