I’m always looking for way to make some of my restaurant favorites at home because I honestly believe that certain foods just taste better when made at home, using my seasoned pots and spice blends. The first time I had broccoli cheddar soup was at Panera Brea, of course, and I would go there a few times a week to get my soup fix. If you have had ever had theirs then you know exactly what I’m talking about; it’s creamy, the broccoli in tender, and it’s just so good every single time.
So because I love it so much I figured it was time to learn how to make it myself and lucky for all of us, it’s such an easy recipe. The base of the soup is just like any other and it continues to build its flavors and texture as it cooks. As I say in all of my soup and stew recipes, feel free to explore your spice cabinets and add some of your favorite seasonings. Creole is my favorite seasoning at the moment, so I used that instead of the popular cayenne seasoning for used in most broccoli cheddar soup recipes.
A few notes about this recipe:
- I recommend using fresh broccoli, not frozen. Fresh broccoli gives you better control over the integrity of the broccoli as it cooks.
- I don’t recommend freezing the soup due to the dairy, however it can hold up in the fridge for 1-3 days.
How to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
*I used a dutch oven for this recipe; I suggest using a heavy bottomed pot.
Add the butter and oil to a large pot and once the butter is melted added in the onions. Cook the onions are they are tender. Add in the seasonings and allow everything to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Once the seasonings and onions have cooked down, add in the rest of the butter, stirring it as it melts and then whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk the flour into the mixture to cook the flour, it should be somewhat of a thick paste. Slowly pour in the stock/broth and continue to whisk.
Add in the half and half, still whisking the soup mixture for about 3-5 minutes and then reduce the heat to low. Add in the bay leaf and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.
Add in the matchstick carrots and chopped broccoli crowns, cooks for 20-25 minutes or until your broccoli has reached your desired tenderness. Stir in the cheese and simmer for another 5 minutes and then remove the bay leaf. Serve immediately, enjoy!