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A bowl of broccoli cheese soup with bread on the side.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This broccoli cheese soup recipe is easy to make and loaded with broccoli and cheddar cheese. A wonderful copycat of Panera's famous soup.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour
Servings 10 servings
Calories 445 kcal
Author Michelle

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 4 heads broccoli stems removed and discarded, and florets cut into bite-size pieces
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 12 ounces mild cheddar cheese shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth

Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine, cooking for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and half-and-half.
  2. Add the nutmeg, broccoli, a dash of salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt the cheese after each addition.
  3. At this point I did a quick pass with my immersion blender on low to blend up the broccoli a bit, but still leave a good amount of texture. You could also choose to mash it with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender or food processor in two batches and puree completely. Finally, whisk in the vegetable broth, and re-warm over low heat, then serve.

Recipe Notes

  • I like using mild cheddar cheese so that it doesn't overpower the rest of the soup, but you can certainly use sharp if you prefer. If you are into Velveeta broccoli cheese soup (old school solidarity!), then you can substitute that for the cheddar cheese.
  • If you cannot find half and half where you live, simply substitute heavy cream and whole milk in equal parts.
  • You can substitute chicken broth or stock for the vegetable broth.
  • Make a crockpot broccoli cheese soup by transferring the milk mixture, broccoli, seasonings, and cheese to the slow cooker after step #1. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, then proceed with mashing/pureeing the soup as you'd like and whisk in the vegetable broth as directed.
  • If you like potatoes in your broccoli cheese soup, add some cubed potatoes along with the broccoli in step #2.

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition Facts
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 445 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 18g113%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 546mg24%
Potassium 1014mg29%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 2570IU51%
Vitamin C 218.2mg264%
Calcium 526mg53%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.