In may be April in the Midwest, but it is still soup weather in my house. In anticipation for the need to stay home for an uncertain amount of time, I bought a huge bag of fresh broccoli from Costco. I hadn’t quite figured out what I was going to make with it but better to be prepared, right?! And then it came to me: Broccoli Cheese Soup.
I am continuing to wade through my pantry and refrigerator which is seeming deeper and more endless than I thought. The ingredients discovered are helping me decide what to make. Like many of the recipes I am sharing, these are just the norm for me to have in the house. Flour, butter, milk and vegetable stock plus some bonus items like cheddar cheese and my big bag of broccoli. If you are familiar with Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheese Soup, this recipe may taste similar.
Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe Tips
Some thoughts on the process and ingredients in the recipe.
- Fresh broccoli is firmer than frozen so it doesn’t get mushy in the soup.
- If you don’t have dry mustard or paprika, feel free to improvise or leave them out.
- While I usually use skim milk in recipes, this doesn’t work well in this soup. It becomes too watery.
- If you get all the ingredients out on the counter, chop the broccoli to small pieces, peel and slice the carrot, garlic and onion, it will make the recipe process more efficient since you need to do a few things at once with pots on the stove.
This soup is hearty and flavorful. Add a salad or bread to make it a full meal. If you are into the breadmaking craze happening right now, this Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe would be perfect for bread bowls. Enjoy!
The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 6 quart Dutch oven or soup pot
- Fry pan
- 1 Onion, small yellow or white diced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
- 2 cups milk, fat free half and half or regular half and half not skim
- 3-4 cups broccoli, fresh can use stalks as well as florets, chopped to bite size pieces
- 2 carrots, large peeled, sliced thin in rounds or strips
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper, fresh ground
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded shred yourself not pre-shredded bag from store
- In small fry pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter, adding diced onion. Mix till onions on translucent. Add minced garlic, stirring frequently so it doesn't burn. 30 seconds or so. Take pan off heat.
- In 6 quart stockpot or dutch oven, add 4 tablespoons butter. Once melted, add 1/4 cup flour. Whisking constantly until flour is totally incorporated. This is the roux that will thicken the soup. This takes about 3-4 minutes. Pan should be on low heat.
- Add stock continuing to whisk. Then add milk whisking to blend.
- When liquid is blended, let simmer for 15-20 minutes till it has reduced slightly. You will want to keep whisking periodically to remove the film that naturally forms across the top of the liquid.
- Add broccoli, carrots, onion and garlic mixture. Mix. Add salt, pepper, dry mustard powder and paprika stirring to incorporate all ingredients.
- Let simmer 20 minutes to cook vegetables and mingle flavors.
- Shred 8 ounces or more of cheddar cheese (I used medium sharpness). Suggestion to not buy the pre-shredded cheese as it doesn't melt easily.
- Turn heat off pot, add 3/4 of the shredded cheese to soup mix saving the rest for the top of each bowl. Note: Cheese lovers may want more cheese.