panera-bread-soupEver had the broccoli cheese soup at Panera? Ever wish you could make it at home? Like a lot of restaurant recipes, it’s hard to exactly recreate the same creaminess, consistency, and color. However, this Panera broccoli cheese soup recipe is the closest I’ve ever found. It’s thick broth, full of gooey cheese, and filling. You can even spend the extra few bucks and put it in a bread bowl if you really want to get fancy.

The secret is in the cook times. You have to create a rue and let it simmer, allowing the soup to thicken to the perfect consistency. It also helps if you have an immersion blender since pouring the soup into a regular blender for mixing can get messy and make extra dishes to wash. With this Panera broccoli cheese soup recipe, you’ll have friends thinking you picked up lunch instead of making it at home in under an hour and a half.

panera-chesebread-soup

Total time: 1 hr and 10 min

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 TB butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ TS nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups of cheddar cheese

broccoli-soup

Cook it:

  • Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or in a large pot over medium heat
  • Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes
  • Whisk in the flour and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes
  • Gradually whisk in the half-and-half until the broth is smooth
  • Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, nutmeg, and season to taste with Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered until thickened, about 20 minutes
  • When the broth has thickened, remove the bay leaves
  • Add the broccoli florets and carrot to the broth and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes
  • When the veggies are tender, puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a traditional blender until there are just flecks of the veggies
  • If you used a traditional blender, return the soup to the pot
  • Add the cheddar cheese and whisk over medium heat until melted
  • If the soup is too thick for your liking, add water until the desired consistency is reached
  • Pour the soup into bowls, garnish with some extra cheddar cheese and enjoy! Your friends will barely be able to taste the difference


panera-soup-garnish

Broccoli cheese soup is one of my favorites and to be able to replicate the recipe from Panera is not only a money and time saver but a taste bud pleaser. Take the soup to parties, add sour cream and thicken a little more for a delicious dip, or just take it for lunch. This Panera-esque broccoli cheese soup recipe will keep you full, please your stomach, and impress even the pickiest of eaters.

BC Soup 1

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I am in deep-fried love with food and travel. With Italian roots, I have a weakness for bread, marinara, and mozzarella. I’ll try anything once and am constantly searching for intriguing places to visit. When I'm not savoring the last bite or organizing my next trip, I'm indulging my inner bookworm and writing about my adventures. If you turn on college football and give me a local craft beer, you’ll see the happiest Hokie on the West coast.

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