Home > Soups & Stews > Broccoli Cheddar Soup Broccoli Cheddar Soup December 5, 2018 | 65 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Creamy and delicious broccoli cheddar soup made in ONE POT on the stovetop. This soup is easy to make and full of flavor (the “secret” to this soup is in the spices!). Serve this broccoli cheddar soup recipe with this Italian Salad, Roasted Vegetables, and/or a crusty loaf of bread! Broccoli Cheddar Soup Soup is a popular meal choice in our home especially when it’s cold outside. Grey could eat this tomato basil soup every meal of the day if I let him and Bentley inhales this creamy vegetable soup. One of my all-time favorite soups? Cheddar Broccoli! When we lived in Cleveland, we were right next to a Panera Bread, and I always ordered their broccoli cheddar soup. Since there isn’t a Panera near me anymore, I’ve had to create my own broccoli cheddar soup and I’m thrilled with this recipe. I’d say it’s even better PLUS you’ll know exactly what the ingredients are in your soup (which you can’t say the same for Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup). How do you make cheddar broccoli soup? Develop flavor: you’ll start by sautéing an onion and garlic in olive oil + butter. Next, we “bloom” the spices. By gently frying the spices in the oil, you’re deepening the flavor and enhancing the flavor profile of the spice for a brighter taste and smell. Create a roux: next we’ll thicken the soup with butter + flour. Be sure to allow plenty of time for the flour to cook and lightly brown in the butter. This is adding layers of flavor and you definitely want to cook off the “raw” taste of the flour. Add chicken stock and half and half for the base of the soup Simmer: once the base of the soup is finished, add in the broccoli and carrots and allow them to cook until tender. Add cheese: last step: stir in the cheese. You want to be sure to use a good high quality extra sharp cheddar cheese. This is crucial to the end flavor and texture of the soup! You may have noticed there is a bit of work involved in this soup, but overall it really is a simple soup to make and well worth the effort! Below are a few tips to make it as easy as possible: How do you make easy broccoli soup? Use a food processor: pulse the onion in a food processor to save time. Grate your cheese in seconds by using a food processor (you’ll need to use the cheese shredder/grater blade to grate cheese) Using shredded carrots: to save prep time, we’re using pre-shredded/grated carrots in this soup! Use pre-chopped broccoli: to save prep time you can grab a bag of pre-chopped broccoli florets if your store sells them. (Depending on the size, they might still be a bit big for this soup, but they’d only need a quick coarse chop) I mentioned earlier that the the secret to this broccoli cheddar soup from scratch is in the spices. Just a few spices add an incredible depth of flavor and complexity to this soup that you don’t typically get with just adding cheddar to a cheddar broccoli soup. With that said, read on to hear my spice recommendations! What spices should you add to broccoli soup? Salt and Pepper: a given, perhaps, but these shouldn’t be overlooked! Seasoning with salt and pepper is personal to taste preference AND will vary depending on the type of broth/stock you use (some are salted more than others). Dry Mustard: simply ground mustard seeds derived from a mustard plant (which happens to be a vegetable plant related to broccoli plants!). Dry mustard is generally used when adding flavor to vegetables and it’s a perfect pair for the broccoli in this soup. Cayenne Pepper: before you get scared away that this will make the soup spicy, it really doesn’t! It simply contributes to that depth of flavor. Smoked Paprika: normal paprika is crushed dried chilies while smoked paprika uses chilies that are smoke-dried and then crushed. Either will work in this soup, but I do prefer the flavor of the smoked paprika Quick FAQS Can you use frozen broccoli? Unfortunately no. Frozen broccoli really doesn’t hold up well in flavor or texture for this soup. I highly recommend fresh broccoli Can you freeze this broccoli cheddar soup? This soup actually doesn’t freeze very well because of the dairy in it. If you’re worried about having too much, I’d recommend halving the recipe! How do I reheat this soup? I recommend reheating this soup on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently. (Boiling may cause ingredients to separate.) Soup is best within 1-3 days. More info here. Can you make this soup vegetarian? Yes! Very easily 🙂 Swap out the chicken stock for vegetable stock (or broth) and you’ll have a vegetarian broccoli cheddar soup! How can I make a healthy broccoli cheddar soup? You can use whole milk instead of the fat free half and half, but it will be a lot less thick and creamy. While this soup does have half & half cheese, it is healthier because we’re using REAL ingredients (no velveeta here!) More INCREDIBLE Soup Recipes: Chicken Parmesan Soup Tortilla Soup (Reader Favorite!) Minestrone Soup Crockpot Chili (Winner of DOZENS of Chili Cook-offs!) FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Cheddar Broccoli Soup 4.85 from 20 votes - Review this recipe Creamy and delicious broccoli cheddar soup made in ONE POT on the stovetop SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Cheddar Broccoli Soup 4.85 from 20 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Creamy and delicious broccoli cheddar soup made in ONE POT on the stovetop Course Dinner Cuisine American Keyword broccoli cheddar soup Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 40 minutes Total Time 55 minutes Servings 6 servings Calories 511kcal Author Chelsea Ingredients7 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated1/2 tablespoon olive oil1 small yellow onion, diced (1 cup)2 small cloves garlic, minced3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika3/4 teaspoon ground mustard1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepperFine sea salt and pepper6 tablespoons white flour1 container (32 ounces (about 4 cups)) low-sodium chicken stock (or broth) (use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)3 cups fat free half and half1 bay leaf6 cups chopped broccoli crowns (~4 large crowns)2 cups matchstick/shredded carrots12 ounces high quality extra sharp cheddar cheese (don't use pre-shredded -- it doesn't melt well in this soup)Optional: crusty bread OR bread bowls (we love serving this soup in sourdough bread bowls!) InstructionsAdd 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil to a large heavy bottomed stock pot/dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, paprika, mustard, cayenne pepper, and pepper (I add 1 teaspoon, but add to preference) to the pot. (I like to add the salt AFTER the stock to gauge how much more it needs.) Cook for another 45 seconds to 1 minute stirring constantly until fragrant.Add in remaining 6 tablespoons butter and melt. Once melted, add in the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 2-4 minutes, whisking constantly, until the flour is thickened (don't rush or your soup won't properly thicken/taste right).Gradually add in the chicken stock, whisking constantly. Once all the stock has been added, gradually add in the half and half, again whisking constantly as you add. Reduce heat to medium low, add in the bay leaf, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened a bit. (Whisk every few minutes as you chop the broccoli!)Meanwhile, chop the broccoli and shred the cheese. Add the chopped broccoli florets and matchstick/shredded carrots (give carrots a quick chop in half if they are super long) to the soup.Allow soup to simmer over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until broccoli is crisp tender (or tender to your preference!) Stir occasionally. Season to taste with salt (I add about a teaspoon here). (You can blend some of the soup or use an immersion blender here if desired. We like it chunky, but blend to preference if desired)Add in the cheese and stir until melted. Again taste for seasoning. Serve immediately in bread bowls or regular bowls with a side of bread for dipping! Video Nutrition FactsCalories: 511kcal DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.