Living overseas has me trying out a lot of copycat recipes lately for things I can’t buy here in England, like copycat Zax sauce, Cafe Rio shredded beef, or Starbucks lemon loaf. One of the places I miss the most is Panera-and their delicious Broccoli Cheese Soup. I’ve been trying loads of recipes trying to duplicate it and finally have one I love-it may even be better than the original! Best of all, it’s super easy!
Picking a cheddar cheese
For this soup I chose a simple sharp cheddar and I garnished with a mixture of sharp and mild-you can adjust to your own taste.
Do not use packaged pre-shredded cheddar in this recipe. Pre-shredded cheese have a powder coating to prevent it from sticking together. This powder negatively affects the end taste and texture. It’s vital to use a high-quality, freshly shredded cheddar cheese in this recipe.
- salt & pepper
- chicken stock
- heavy cream
- sharp cheddar
Step by step
- Sauté onion and carrots in butter, adding garlic the last 30 seconds. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven melt butter and add flour to create a roux. (The roux thickens the soup.)
- Add stock and heavy cream and simmer 20 minutes.
- Add sautéed vegetables along with broccoli and spices, stir, simmer another 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted. Serve immediately!
I love prepping things ahead of time but this soup is best enjoyed immediately after cooking.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
I do not recommend freezing this soup as the cheese and half and half will be negatively affected by freeze/thaw process.
You may substitute vegetable stock to make this recipe vegetarian.
You can substitute half and half for the heavy cream without affecting the end result. If using milk I recommend using whole milk. You can use lower fat milks but the end result won’t be as creamy.
Try it and let me know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment!Print
If you like Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup you have to try this easy copycat recipe you can make at home in under an hour!
- 5 tablespoon butter, divided
- 2 large carrots, peeled and grated or sliced extremely thin
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
- ¼ cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 3 cups fresh broccoli cuts, diced into ½ inch pieces
- 2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar, plus extra for garnish
- In a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and cook carrots and onion over medium heat until tender and onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat.
- In a large Dutch oven, melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
- Add flour and stir to make a roux. Cook 4 minutes whisking constantly or until it thickens.
- Gradually stir in broth and heavy cream, whisking constantly.
- Simmer 20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add the broccoli and saucepan carrots, onion, and garlic, along with salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir to mix. Simmer another 20 minutes.
- Add cheese and remove from heat.
- Stir until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with additional cheese if desired and serve immediately.
- use freshly grated, quality Cheddar cheese, do not use pre-shredded as it has an added powder to prevent sticking that will negatively affect the final taste and texture
- store in an airtight container up to 4 days in the refrigerator
Keywords: broccoli cheese soup
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