What a surprise. I’m sharing another soup recipe with you today. How original.
I think I’ve been averaging one soup recipe a week on here this winter. It’s getting kind of obnoxious. I can’t help myself! It’s a reflection of real life. We eat soup EVERY SINGLE WEEK. As I’ve said many times before, it’s a go-to for me in the chilly months. It’s easy to throw together and covers us for a few meals which makes it perfect for the workweek. As I mentioned last time, I’m still getting over a nasty head cold, so this sort of thing is even more up my alley now than usual (and that’s saying something!). Soup is all I have an appetite for these days. Well, soup and this ice cream.
That said, I still cannot WAIT for warmer weather. This past weekend was such a tease! The temperatures were near 60 degrees and the sun was shining bright all weekend. Gorgeous. Made me want to eat my weight in fresh caprese salad and bowls upon bowls of guacamole (and, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I succumbed to the latter craving on Sunday). But now, we’re back into the 20’s and 30’s with snow flurries and runny noses (Sorry. Maybe that’s just me. I’m gross.). Sigh. A few more weeks of winter are left. Hence, more soup recipes are coming your way.
This particular recipe was inspired by my favorite Panera Bread soup: the broccoli-cheddar. No matter what my original intention is when I first walk into that place, I always end up ordering the broccoli-cheddar soup. I can’t help it. It’s so cheesy, creamy, and comforting. Paired with a light salad (or a gooey panini), it makes the perfect lunch. Love it.
I wanted to try recreating it at home. This is what I came up with, and I think I represented PB pretty well in my home kitchen. It tastes pretty darn close to the original! I tried to remember all the flavors and textures of the version I know and love, and mimicked them the best I could. I did add a little fontina cheese to the mix because, well, it’s one of the best cheeses on this planet and I wanted the soup to be extra creamy and gooey. Fontina is perfect for that. It melts like a dream. The cheddar definitely shines through, though! You need a good sharp cheddar for this one, folks. Otherwise, you’ll end up with something kind of flat tasting. Invest in a good hunk of cheddar. You won’t be sorry.
And then, because I’m so predictable, I topped the soup with croutons. I know. I’ve already told you guys a million times that I love texture in my soups, but this one really is such an incredible combo. Crunchy buttery nuggets of bread floating in a bowl of melted cheese. Hah. Oh yeah, and broccoli. Let’s not forget the broccoli. Cheese and broccoli just belong together, don’t they? My mom rarely served us broccoli with cheese sauce (for health reasons, I’m sure), but when she did, it was basically the best thing ever (aside from her killer mac & cheese). Even my sister, Rosie, aka the Pickiest Eater on Earth, would eat the green stuff if it was covered in a river of melted cheese. Can’t blame her there.
Everything is better with cheese.
And if you’re me…croutons.Print
Broccoli-Cheddar Soup with Garlic Brown Butter Croutons
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
For the Soup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 1 large carrot, grated or finely chopped
- 4 cups broccoli florets, in bite size pieces
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup fontina cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Croutons:
- 1 multigrain baguette, cut into 1-in cubes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 smashed garlic cloves
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
For the Soup:
- Heat the oil and the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Sprinkle the flour over everything and toss until everything is coated. Cook for a minute or so and then add the nutmeg.
- Slowly stream in the broth, stirring constantly, and cook until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Add the bay leaf, carrot, and broccoli and simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
- Stir in the milk, half-and-half, and cheeses. Stir constantly until the cheese is melted. If the mixture gets too thick, add a little bit more milk or broth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
For the Croutons:
- While the soup is simmering, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the cubed bread out on a baking sheet.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the garlic, and cook until the butter is lightly golden brown and bubbly.
- Pour the brown butter evenly over the croutons. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the croutons are crispy and golden brown.
- Serve the soup topped with the croutons and extra cheese, if desired.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: soup
Keywords: broccoli and cheddar soup recipe, broccoli cheese soup recipe, copycat panera broccoli cheddar soup, vegetarian soup recipes, broccoli soup recipe, broccoli recipes, soup recipes
I made this soup twice now (minus the croutons both times). One time was as directed and once was with some swaps to lighten it up and lower the carbs a bit. Both ways were delicious! For the swapped version, I swapped out the whole milk for unsweetened plain macadamia milk and the half and half for unsweetened plain almond milk coffee creamer and then used all 2% milk sharp cheddar cheese (no fontina). I kept everything else the same. This decreased the calories by about a third. And it wasnt terribly high carb before, but the carbs went even lower. Very versatile and easy and quick!
Thanks, Pilar! Your adjustments sound delicious!