Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-18When my sister Elina and I were teenagers, we would really love to hang out at Barnes and Noble bookstore. We were both bookworms growing up, so sitting in a quiet bookstore surrounded by hundreds of volume was our cup of tea. It was especially fun when we were planning our weddings. There was a Panera Bread just a few minutes away, and it became our tradition to stop by for soup and sandwiches either before going to the bookstore or right after. 100% of the time, we would both order the Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Elina was always such a picky eater, but she could eat broccoli a hundred different ways and cheese was always a big hit with her too. I’m not picky at all, and I just love the flavor of this soup. It’s so comforting.

It turns out we aren’t the only ones who love this creamy, cheesy and thick soup. Try googling “Broccoli Cheddar Soup”. You’ll get a ridiculous number, like 2,030,000 search results .  I have no idea how Panera Bread makes their soup, but this is my version of it. Enjoy. By the way, aren’t the country boules that I found in a local grocery store super cute? 
Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, minced

2 carrots, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup flour

4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

2 cups half and half

1 dry bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

salt, pepper, to taste

6 cups broccoli (cut into florets and 1 1/2 inch pieces) (3 broccoli crowns with the stems)

2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions:

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1Melt the butter in a medium or large cooking pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-2Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Add the flour and mix it until it’s completely incorporated.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-3Cook it for about a minute to get the raw flour taste cooked out. Add the chicken broth and the half n half, mixing until it’s smooth. Add the bay leaf and the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-4

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-5

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-6Bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the soup has thickened. Discard the bay leaf. Add the broccoli and cook for another 15 minutes or so, until the broccoli is tender too. Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-8

 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-9Add the cheese to the soup and mix it until it melts. Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-10

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-11Pulse the soup in a blender in batches until it is the consistency that you like; you can make it completely smooth or chunky. Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-12

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-13

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-19I like to set aside some of the cooked broccoli florets to add to the soup. Cut a circle off the top of some small sourdough or country boules. Take out the inside of the bread with your fingers or using a fork to make a cavity. Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-7Pour the soup inside the bread.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup-1-18

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt, pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups broccoli (cut into florets and 1½ inch pieces)(3 broccoli crowns with the stems)
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a medium or large cooking pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Add the flour and mix it until it's completely incorporated. Cook it for about a minute to get the raw flour taste cooked out.
  3. Add the chicken broth and the half n half, mixing until it's smooth. Add the bay leaf and the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the soup has thickened. Discard the bay leaf.
  5. Add the broccoli and cook for another 15 minutes or so, until the broccoli is tender too.
  6. Add the cheese to the soup and mix it until it melts.
  7. Pulse the soup in a blender in batches until it is the consistency that you like; you can make it completely smooth or chunky. I like to set aside some of the cooked broccoli florets to add to the soup.
  8. Cut a circle off the top of some small boules. Take out the inside of the bread with your fingers or using a fork to make a cavity. Pour the soup inside the bread.

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