Broccoli Cheddar Soup
It was only relatively recently that I realized I liked Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I grew up convinced that broccoli was gross, so I never really gave broccoli soup a chance. But I had a chance to try a friend’s broccoli soup at Panera Bread one time, and I realized what I was missing.
Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup is rich and creamy, with a sharp cheddar cheese flavor that mellows the broccoli. When I wanted to use up some fresh broccoli in the fridge, my first thought was Broccoli Cheddar soup, and my second thought was that I wanted it to taste like Panera’s. It’s not perfect yet, but I think I did a pretty good job. (The picture’s not fantastic, but the soup was very good).
Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon melted butter, divided
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
- 1/2 pound fresh broccoli
- 1 cup carrots, finely diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar
Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half to make a roux. Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Puree using an immersion blender. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.