Welcome to another Soup-er Sunday!
Today I’m sharing a recipe for broccoli cheddar soup. I used a recipe from the blog The Girl Who Ate Everything called Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup. And I doubled the recipe because, hello, broccoli cheddar soup.
(Also because my bestie and her boyfriend sent my husband and me 3 pounds of Wisconsin cheddar cheese, so we had tons of cheese to consume. Nom nom nom!)
What with all that broccoli and cheddar in there, it certainly tasted like broccoli cheddar soup, though I didn’t find it tasted particularly like Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup. In fact, if someone else had served it to me and asked, “What does this taste like?” the word “Panera” would not have crossed my mind. I mention this just by way of tempering your expectations of what this tastes like if you, like me, had expected a soup entitled Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup to actually taste like it came from Panera. This one tastes like it came from your stove. Which, don’t get me wrong, is good, too, but just know what you’re getting going in. And what you’re getting is Homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
Great. So now that we’ve covered that, let’s begin.
Because I didn’t have access to matchstick carrots the day I made this, I decided to get out my food processor and make my own from baby carrots. It was kind of a pain because some of them were getting lodged between the feed tube and the grater blade. (If anyone has a 10-12 cup food processor they love, I’m happy for your recommendations.) But, eventually, I had my 2 cups of “julienne” style carrots and my 4 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese (with the machine already out, I figured I might as well use it for that, too). I even tried getting a rough chop of the broccoli in there. I…wouldn’t recommend that. It didn’t work that well even just on the pulse setting. Some bits got too small, and some stayed too large and had to be cut by hand anyway. So all in all, I’d just recommend chopping the broccoli by hand on a cutting board. Alas, there’s no shortcut for that step.
Otherwise, it was a straightforward execution.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Note: this is for a double batch since I doubled the amounts listed in the original recipe. If you want a smaller batch, use the amounts listed in the link above. The doubled amount made about 12 cups.
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 medium onion, diced
½ cup flour
4 cups half and half
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound (about 6 cups) broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cups carrot, julienned (typically, I’d buy matchstick carrots for this, but I couldn’t that day, so I used my food processor)
16 oz (4 cups) grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and sauté onions until softened and translucent.
2. Sprinkle flour over the onions. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. I like to add about a half cup of broth at a time, stirring between each addition so that I can see it thicken. Then add the half & half and stir.
4. Add broccoli and carrots. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes or until broccoli and carrots are tender.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Puree 2 cups of soup, then stir it back in. This adds a nice thickness and smoothness to the soup that is positive. (Full disclosure: I didn’t do that this time because of the way some of my broccoli got too small in the processor so I didn’t see the point.)
6. Return to low heat and add the cheese. Stir to melt. (Great tip per the original recipe: if your heat is too high, the soup can end up grainy.)
We went kind of all-in on the Panera concept that night, as you can see. Soup, crusty buttered roll, chicken, and apple! Soup-er!