One of my daughter’s favorite soups is Broccoli Cheese soup. Which meant I prepared this soup and had it waiting for her to return from a sleepover. Yes, I am that sucker parent.
A thick, creamy, cheesy, comforting soup from scratch. No canned soups here. It’s surprisingly quick and easy to prepare. And oh-so-delicious!
What You’ll Need
This is one of those great recipes that is easily converted to vegetarian just by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
- Fresh broccoli florets – Fresh is best in our opinion. Frozen tends to cook up extremely soft with added water that will thin the soup.
- Carrots, onion, and garlic cloves – These all add the stand flavors of most soups.
- All-purpose flour, unsalted butter, half and half – The base of any roux.
- Chicken stock – Or chicken broth.
- Bay leaf, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper – These seasonings bring depth to the creamy, rich soup.
- Sharp cheddar cheese – You can shred your own or buy repacked shredded cheese.
Tips and Variations
- You can replace the half and half with a dairy of your choice. Make it richer with heavy cream or lighter with milk. Be aware that it will change the consistency.
- Use a cheese of your choice – mild cheddar, gruyere, or even change the flavor with a pepper jack cheese or Monterey cheese.
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Shred the carrots, chop the onions, and mince (press) the garlic.
For the broccoli, chop 2/3 of it into tiny florets (just cut off as much of the stem as you can and it’ll fall apart in the pot), and then take the remaining 1/3 and give it a rough chop so you have a few large pieces to add to the soup. (optional)
Add the vegetable broth (or chicken broth) to a pot over medium-high heat, and add 2/3 of the broccoli florets (about 2 cups) as well as your onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaf.
Simmer on medium heat, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
Start the roux when the vegetables are almost done.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, slowly add 3 tablespoons of flour as you whisk constantly. Cook the roux for about 2 minutes to remove the flour taste.
Slowly pour the broth from your vegetables into the roux and whisk to incorporate.
Remove the bay leaf from the vegetables. Next, pour the vegetables into the roux/broth mixture and slowly stir in 1 cup of room temperature half and half.
Reduce heat to very low. Season with nutmeg, basil, cayenne, salt, and black pepper.
Remove from the heat and add the cheese in batches. Season to taste.
So much better than the one you order at a restaurant. If you are adventurous serve this cheesy broccoli soup in bread bowls like Panera!
Garnish with additional grated cheese (because evidently, you can’t have enough cheese flavor according to my daughter) and broccoli florets.
Let the soup cool completely, place it in an air-tight container, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat your broccoli cheese soup place it in a saucepan over low to medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes.
We don’t recommend freezing soups with dairy, it tends to separate in the freezer. It’s best to leave the milk and cheese out, and freeze it in an airtight container. When ready to reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight, and add the half-and-half and cheese when reheating.
Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
- 1 large head fresh Broccoli (a few cups of chopped florets)
- 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (plus extra for topping)
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1 cup Half and Half, room temperature
- 3 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Dried Basil
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Dice the onion small, mince the garlic, and shred the carrots.
- For the broccoli, chop 2/3 of it into tiny florets [just cut off as much stem as you can and it’ll fall apart in the pot] and then take the remaining 1/3 and give it a rough chop so you have a few large pieces to add to the soup. (optional)
- Add your veggie broth to a pot over medium-high heat, add 2/3 of your broccoli [about 2 cups of florets] as well as your onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaf. Simmer on medium, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Start your roux when the vegetables are almost done: In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, slowly add 3 tablespoons of flour as you whisk constantly. Cook the roux about 2 minutes to remove the flour taste.
- Slowly pour the broth from your vegetables into the roux and whisk to incorporate.
- Remove the bay leaf from the vegetables. Next, pour the vegetables into the roux/broth mixture and slowly stir in 1 cup of room temperature half and half.
- Turn the burner to very low heat.
- Season with the above herbs and spices.
- Add the cheese in small batches until all melted.
- Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Blanch in boiling water or steam in your microwave. Add to the soup.
- Garnish with extra cheese, if desired.