Home > Soups & Stews > Broccoli Cheddar Soup Broccoli Cheddar Soup December 5, 2018 | 71 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! It’s easy to make and full of flavor. (The secret to this soup is in the spices!) Serve Broccoli Cheddar Soup 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 café, and I always ordered their broccoli cheddar soup. Since there isn’t a Panera near me anymore, I’ve had to create my own version of that 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 when you make it yourself! How do you make Broccoli Cheddar Soup? Develop flavor: Start by sautéing an onion and garlic in olive oil and butter. Next, we “bloom” the spices by gently frying them in the oil. This deepens the flavor and enhances the flavor profile of the spice for a brighter taste and smell. Create a roux: Thicken the soup with butter and 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. 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 none of the steps are difficult and the finished soup is well worth the effort! Below are a few tips to make it as easy as possible: How do you make easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup? A food processor: Pulse the onion in a food processor to save time. Grate the cheese in seconds by using a food processor using the cheese shredder/grater blade. Shredded carrots: to save prep time, we’re using pre-shredded/grated carrots in this soup! Pre-chopped broccoli: To save prep time you can pick up 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 secret to this Broccoli Cheddar Soup is in the spices. Just a few seasonings add an incredible depth of flavor and complexity to this soup that you don’t typically get with just adding cheese. 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 don’t overlook them! Seasoning with salt and pepper will vary depending on the type of broth/stock you use (some are salted more than others) and your personal preferences. Dry mustard: Ground mustard seeds (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: Trust me on this one–cayenne really doesn’t make the soup spicy! The small quantity used simply contributes to that depth of flavor. Smoked paprika: Regular 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 Broccoli Cheddar Soup 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 Broccoli Cheddar Soup? This soup doesn’t freeze very well because of all 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 fat-free half and half, but it will be a lot less thick and creamy. While this soup does have half and half as well as plenty of cheese, it is healthier because we’re using REAL ingredients (no processed cheese spread here!). 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Cheddar Broccoli Soup 4.85 from 26 votes - Review this recipe Creamy and delicious Broccoli Cheddar Soup made in one pan on the stovetop SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Cheddar Broccoli Soup 4.85 from 26 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Creamy and delicious Broccoli Cheddar Soup made in one pan on the stovetop Course Dinner, Main Course Cuisine American Keyword broccoli cheddar soup Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 40 minutes Total Time 55 minutes Servings 6 servings Calories 508kcal 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 Cheddar cheese high-quality extra-sharp (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!) InstructionsHeat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil to a large heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté, 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. 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 the 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 this, or your soup won't properly thicken.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 Recipe NotesVegetarian version: Use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock for this recipe. Nutrition FactsCalories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 760mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 8864IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 588mg | Iron: 2mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. 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.