RECIPES:
Oct 17, 2022

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
This flavorful and easy soup recipe comes together quickly for a comforting lunch or dinner served with plenty of sourdough bread for dipping.

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Broccoli cheddar soup is one of my favorites. It always evokes memories of fall and comes together in 30 minutes for a great weeknight dinner. Like many teens in the early 2000s I spent a large amount of time with friends at Panera. While I’ve moved on from eating this soup in bread boats, it’s still one of my favorite recipes. I use extra broccoli in this recipe as well as shredded carrots for some added vegetables and thicken the soup with a combination of a roux finished with a bit of heavy cream. 

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup 

recipe for broccoli cheddar soup

Key Ingredients in This Recipe 

  • Onion – I use yellow onion for its mellow flavor when cooked. These onions, with a brownish yellow papery skin, are a great all-purpose cooking onion. Shallots can be used in place of the onion in this recipe.
  • Garlic – Sautéed chopped garlic adds an additional depth of flavor. 
  • Broccoli – When buying broccoli look for firm stalks and tight florets vibrant green in color. Because the soup will be blended, the lower stalks can be used as well or saved to use in broccoli slaw. I roughly chop the broccoli into smaller pieces, as this lowers the time needed to simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender. 
  • Roux – Flour is cooked in fat (in this case oil and butter) to create a thickening agent for the soup. When the flour is cooked it removes the raw flour flavor. 
  • Vegetable broth – To keep this soup vegetarian I use vegetable broth though chicken broth also works great. 
  • Heavy cream – The cream is used to create a rich, velvety soup. Rather than create a milk base I use a stock and roux base finished with heavy cream.
  • Cheddar cheese – I use sharp Cheddar when cooking, especially when I want the flavor to shine in the broccoli cheese soup. If you use mild or medium Cheddar the flavor will cook out and the recipe will be lacking in that signature cheesy flavor. 

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

sauted onion for broccoli cheddar soup
Step 1: Sauté.

Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat through, then add the butter and allow to melt. Next, add the onion and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until just fragrant, about an additional 30 seconds.

Step 2: Make roux.

Stir in the flour and cook until it turns a pale golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.

roux for broccoli cheddar soup
simmer broccoli for broccoli cheddar soup
Step 3: Simmer. 

Add the broccoli and carrots and simmer the soup until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes.

Step 4: Blend. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the cayenne. Use an immersion blender or add to a blender. Blend the soup until it’s mostly smooth but some pieces of broccoli remain. 

Step 5: Add cheese. 

Stir in the cream then slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly until completely combined into the soup.

Step 6: Serve. 

Serve in warmed soup bowls and garnish with chives and additional Cheddar cheese.

broccoli cheddar soup

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

How to Make this Soup Gluten Free 

Omitting the flour roux from this recipe will create a thinner soup. Blending the soup will help to thicken it or a bit of white rice can be cooked in the broth and pureed with the vegetables to help thicken it. Simmering a cup (100g) of chopped cauliflower with the broccoli florets will also help to thicken the soup while adding extra vegetables.

How to Make this Soup in Advance 

The soup can be made a day ahead of time up to where you add the cream and Cheddar cheese. Blend the soup and reheat in a large pot. The cheese is added just before serving because otherwise it can separate or burn as the soup heats. 

Swaps and Substitutions
  • Using an immersion blender makes pureeing the soup very easy though it can also be blended in a blender. 
  • Chicken broth can easily be used in place of the vegetable broth in this veggie soup mixture. 
  • Shallots can be used in place of the onion. 
How to Reheat Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • In the microwave. Add the broccoli cheese soup to bowls and reheat individually in bowls covered with a damp paper towel (to prevent splatter) in 30 second increments until hot.
  • On the stove-top. Add soup to a medium pot and reheat, covered over medium-low heat until warmed through.

Other Recipes to Try 

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How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

broccoli cheddar soup in bowls topped with cheddar cheese and chives with bread
Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, plus additional for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Instructions:

  • Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat through, then add the butter and allow to melt. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until just fragrant, about an additional 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the flour and cook until it turns a pale golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the broccoli and carrots and simmer the soup until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the cayenne. Use an immersion blender or add to a blender. Blend the soup until it’s mostly smooth but some pieces of broccoli remain.
  • Stir in the cream then slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly until completely combined into the soup.
  • Serve in warmed soup bowls and garnish with chives and additional Cheddar cheese.

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    • So happy to hear that! Yes, if you hit the print button on the recipe card and scroll down it will show you the nutrition facts.

  1. 5 stars
    So easy to follow and tastes wonderful. I don’t love using a lot of heavy cream but I love creamy soups so I chose this one because it had a vegetable broth base. Seriously would never know, it’s that good.

  2. 5 stars
    Broccoli cheddar soup was amazing! And easy ! But then again all her recipes are fabulous! Blackberry short ribs! Crab guacamole Yukon! Spicy ceasar salad ! I’ve made both ! Next is the clam chowder .