Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup is one of my favorite things in the whole entire world. I know I say things like that a lot but it’s really, really true. I crave it like there’s no tomorrow.
The problem with eating there is one bowl is never enough, whereas if I make it at home I get to enjoy the leftovers for many more meals. . . Because the truth is it takes a bucket full to really satisfy my craving. I just don’t want that bucket all at once.
This is one of the easiest soups to make at home! With onion, garlic, broccoli florets, broth, half & half, cheddar cheese and Parmesan plus a little Dijon mustard. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the mustard in the final product, it plays nice with the cheddar and gives it a little flavor boost.
I don’t use a blender to puree the soup because the broccoli usually breaks down enough on its own and breaks up into little tiny pieces. If you find that isn’t happening you can use a stick blender to help it along.
The addition of Parmesan is of my own doing, I’m pretty sure Panera doesn’t use it but I like to for a finishing touch that adds a little richness and one last layer of flavor.
Some days just call for a giant pot of one of the most comforting things I can think of.
A soup hug.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- 8 cups broccoli florets
- 28 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup half & half or heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large soup pot heat the butter over medium low heat and cook the onion, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add the broccoli, broth, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
Turn the heat up and bring it to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the half and half and bring to a simmer again for 5 - 10 minutes.
Turn heat down to low and add the cheddar, stir until completely melted. Stir in the Parmesan. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
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