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Broccoli Cheddar Soup: the creamy, hearty recipe better than Panera

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Once the autumn winds pick up, and the temperatures start to dip, nothing hits the spot like a nourishing bowl of homemade soup. If you're searching for a healthy, creamy, hearty soup to make this winter, try this simple broccoli cheddar soup recipe. It is super easy to make and is essentially a homemade version of the ultra-popular soup you'll find at Panera.

Homemade broccoli cheddar soup calls for tasty ingredients like fresh broccoli, carrots, and of course, plenty of cheddar cheese. Milk and butter enhance the soup's richness, while garlic and paprika add an irresistible extra layer of flavor. The best part? It only takes half an hour to make! Enjoy homemade broccoli cheddar soup as an appetizer, or serve it with your favorite side dishes for a complete meal.

How do you thicken broccoli cheddar soup?


If you want to make your soup ultra-thick and hearty, there are a couple of tricks for you to use. Adding more cheese is one way to thicken up broccoli cheddar soup. You could also add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the broth, whisking it until totally integrated. If you don't have cornstarch on hand, you can make a roux and add it to the soup. Roux is made by mixing equal parts butter and flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk together.


The Only Tips You Need for Broccoli Cheddar Soup

To make sure your soup comes out perfectly, cut the broccoli and carrots into small pieces so it can become nice and tender.

When you're adding the cheese, remove the pot from the heat and add it in parts. This will help it to distribute and melt evenly. It's also better to grate the cheddar yourself. It's more cost-effective and melts better.

Make vegetarian broccoli cheddar soup by swapping the chicken stock for vegetable stock.

Use low-sodium chicken stock if you're trying to lower your salt intake.

Not a fan of paprika? Use nutmeg instead.

For a richer soup, use heavy cream instead of milk.

If desired, add bacon, pancetta, or Italian sausage to your broccoli cheddar soup for an ultra-hearty, satisfying meal.

What to serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This soup is rich and nourishing and can be a main dish on its own or served alongside a salad, a light sandwich, croutons or freshly baked bread.

How to Store Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Transfer the soup to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat broccoli cheddar soup, pour it into a pot and warm on the stove until hot.

Can you freeze Broccoli Cheddar Soup?

Of course! However, if you're planning on stashing your broccoli cheddar soup in the freezer to enjoy at a later date, skip adding the dairy when you're preparing the soup. Dairy doesn't tend to freeze well. Instead, add the dairy ingredients when you're reheating the soup on your stovetop.


Unsalted butter
1/2 stick
medium onion, chopped
Garlic, minced
2 to 3 cloves
All-purpose flour
4 tbsp
Chicken stock
2 cups
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
paprika (optional)
1/4 tsp
broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
3 cups
large carrot, grated
Whole Milk
2 cups
Grated cheddar cheese
2 cups

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

In a Dutch oven or a pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Sauté the onions for 3 to 4 minutes until they become soft and light golden brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.

Whisk in the flour and cook until it becomes golden brown.

Pour in chicken stock.

Stir in carrots.

Add the broccoli, salt, pepper, and paprika.

Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.

Stir in milk.

Add the cheese.

Cook for 1 minute more, stirring occasionally.

Serve and enjoy!

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