Thick, creamy broccoli cheddar soup that’s loaded with broccoli and lots of cheese. Better than Panera and takes less than 30 minutes to make.
In a recent post, I reveled my wish to sell soup at a local farmer’s market. Well let me just say that this broccoli cheddar soup would top the list. I love making soup – tortilla soup, clam chowder, minestrone, caldo verde, you name it. But this is one I make again and again. It also happens to be one of my husband’s favorite kinds of soup and, as of last night, one of Nutmeg’s favorites too. Most nights, she’s the last one to finish dinner and she starts bargaining with me as soon as Eclair finishes. “Just two more bites?” “My tummy is soooooo full.” etc. But last night, she had only her soup left. I actually told her she could be done and she looked at me and said, “I’ll have one more bite. Actually I’ll have it all.” And she ate every last drop, taking a second to show me the big piece of broccoli she found. Can I just say that kid is awesome?
This is a great way to use up broccoli. I bought some at my farmer’s market and then got some in my CSA, so one went into the soup. It’s also a very simple recipe, made of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. The cream definitely adds some texture, but I’ve also made it with just milk or some half and half. This makes a big pot of it. That’s another of my soup tricks. My husband loves to takes soup with his lunch in the cold weather, so I make a big pot and then freeze a few small containers. That way he can choose from whatever I’ve stockpiled. (Spoiled rotten, I know 🙂
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1½ cups milk
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cups chopped broccoli, florets and stems
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 16 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until it turns golden, another 3 minutes.
- Whisk in the cream and milk until smooth. Stir in the chicken stock and add the bay leaves then bring to a simmer, reducing the heat if needed. Simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Add the broccoli and carrots and simmer 10 minutes, until softened. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Using a stick blender, blend the soup slightly. You want to leave some chunks of broccoli. Stir in the cheese then season to taste with salt and pepper.