Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. That’s Hailey’s order every time she goes to Panera Bread. Then I stumbled upon this copycat recipe for her favorite soup and now I’m thinking we really don’t need to order it from Panera Bread anymore! Yes, it’s that good! I found the recipe over at abountifulkitchen.com; it’s the first recipe I’ve tried of hers and talk about a good first impression! There are some real gems when it comes to food blogs on the web; don’t miss out! A couple of my other favorites are Oh Sweet Basil (make her bolognese pasta sauce!!) and Gimme Some Oven  (where I found the recipe for the best mashed potatoes!)

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Before we get into the super easy ‘how to’ for this soup, a few things to call out…

  • If you make the recipe exactly as is, you’ll end up with a fairly brothy soup. To me, it was perfect! However, if you prefer your soup to be a little thicker simply modify some measurements – little less broth, little more cheese. Keep the cream the same!
  • The hot sauce, yep I said hot sauce, does not take much! Be conservative with the ‘few drops’ the recipe calls for especially if you’re sensitive to spice!
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese is specifically selected for this soup so I wouldn’t recommend switching and using a different type!

Not to mention…

  • If you make this on a Spring day in late March when it’s 30 degrees and snowing, you’ll forget all about the weather and be happy go lucky with your comforting bowl of soup, true story 🙂
  • Leftovers taste even better the next day and the day after that too!
  • Have I mentioned how easy it is to make?

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Step One: Chop your veggies!

Start by chopping the onion, broccoli and carrots. I always recommend fresh veggies for soup over frozen and the cooking times below are based on fresh veggies! I peeled and chopped whole carrots, but baby carrots can be sliced up and used as well.

If you have some really picky eaters in your home, chop the veggies very finely in a food processor and they’ll enjoy the soup along with a full serving of vegetables without even realizing 🙂

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Step Two: Saute Veggies!

Melt butter in a large stockpot and cook the onions until soft. Then add the broccoli and carrots, stir all the veggies together and season with salt, pepper, paprika and just a couple drops of hot sauce. Stir well after adding the seasoning too so nothing burns! Cook until the veggies are nice and tender! In addition to the seasoning, add a couple drops of hot sauce!

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If you’re very sensitive to spice, I really think you could omit this ingredient and still have delicious soup! I only added a conservative two drops and it was plenty for us! Well, for me….Hailey and Allen love spicy and can definitely handle more than me!

Step Three: Add Chicken Broth, Heavy Cream and Mustard!

Add all three of these and stir to mix well and then simmer over medium to low heat for around ten minutes. I think mustard is another unsuspecting ingredient in this recipe and the one I forgot to mention in my Instagram Stories! What can ya do! For the cream, you could do any variation of whole milk, heavy cream, half and half or a combination depending on your preference. I always use heavy cream in soups like this and feel like it works best!

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Step Four: Thicken the soup with a mixture of broth and cornstarch

In a small bowl, you’ll whisk together half of a cup cold broth (I measure this out at the beginning and put it in the fridge to cool) and a fourth of a cup cornstarch. Then, pour that into the stockpot of soup and whisk until smooth. What’s great about cornstarch is it keeps the soup gluten free and it’s a more powerful thickener than flour so you don’t have to use as much in your recipes!

Step Five: Season to taste and add that cheese!

Do a quick taste test and add a pinch of salt and pepper if you’d like. Then add sharp cheddar cheese and stir and mix until it’s just melted. At this point, you can reduce the heat to just keep the soup warm until it’s ready to be served!

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Highly recommend serving bread, rolls or the like alongside this dish, because broccoli cheddar is such a good dipping soup! If you’re serving a crowd, be sure to double this recipe; it will go quick!

Also, not directly related to food but kind of related because it’s about taking photos of food…I decided to use my phone to take all of the step by step photos this time, because it’s so quick and easy that way and Oh my gosh! I recently got the Pixel 3 Google phone specifically for the camera and hi…exhibit A! I’m really impressed with its ability! It’s not a replacement to my beloved Canon by any means, but in times when it makes life easier and produces good quality photos I’m on board! So if you’re looking for a camera that also calls and texts people, definitely add the Pixel 3 to your comparison list!

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And now it’s time to cook…Enjoy 🙂

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

If you like the broccoli cheddar soup at Panera Bread, you're going to love this recipe!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped or sliced
  • 4 cups broccoli chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • couple drops tabasco sauce optional
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a large stockpot. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the carrots and broccoli, stir with the onions and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and a couple drops of hot sauce, if using.
  3. Pour broth and heavy cream into the stockpot along with the mustard. Whisk until smooth and let simmer over medium to low heat for around 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold broth and cornstarch until smooth. Pour into the stockpot and whisk again until smooth. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Add cheese, stir to mix well and cook just until the cheese is melted.
  6. Reduce heat to keep soup warm until you're ready to serve. Pair with bread for dipping and a sandwich or salad on the side!

Recipe Notes

Sharp cheddar cheese will work best; you may also use extra sharp!

Have a beautiful day!

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