Cooking, Recipes, Winter Recipes

One Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Craving your favorite fast-casual spot’s broccoli cheddar soup but just can’t get there or they don’t deliver to you? This knock-off recipe will keep your broccoli cheddar cravings satisfied just fine!


When I’m folding laundry or washing dishes or a number of other mundane chores, I usually have HGTV on in the background. Inspiration that I can tune into or tune out of as I please.

It’s really the only time I see ads {yay, streaming services!}. So they catch my eye more than they might normally.

Like the thousands of ads for different delivery services. GrubHub, DoorDash, Seamless, UberEats, Eat24 by Yelp, Postmates, Foodler…there are tons of ways to get your favorite stuff delivered to your door.

Pre-parenthood, I would have paid little attention to these services in favor of collecting up my husband and going out for a fun evening with friends.

Having a little munchkin around changes the dynamic.

And our little guy is great at going out for brunch and lunch, but by dinner time, he’s just not in the mood.

So these multiple apps let us call in for something healthier than pizza on the occasions we just don’t feel like cooking at home. Which happens. I cook a lot, but there are still times where the last thing I want to do is stare into my fridge, waiting for inspiration to strike – it’s the culinary equivalent of writer’s block!

But you know who doesn’t deliver to our house, and who we can’t get food from on any of these apps? Panera Bread.

Loading up their app, putting in all your information, seeing pictures of your beloved broccoli cheddar soup go by, and then having the app tell you that Panera doesn’t deliver to your area probably ranks pretty high on reasons iPhones get thrown against the wall. Just saying.

But when you’re a chef, even a very amateur one, there are solutions to problems like these!

I’ve been experimenting with broccoli cheddar soup recipes forever and they always seem to be missing something. Too runny, too thick, too crunchy, too…something else.

But after changing the way I made my roux, adding paprika and garlic salt and fresh cracked black pepper, and making healthy use of my Vitamix, I’ve finally got a recipe that my test kitchen and I are in love with.

Now that I’ve been making this one a while, I’m not sure how much it actually has in common with the Panera recipe. But I can tell you that it has made me stop missing their soup and enjoying making my own!

One Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Serves 8.

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 broccoli crowns and stems, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped or shredded
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese or Colby Jack cheese {my favorite}, shredded

How to Make It:

1. Heat a large stock-pot over medium heat. Melt 2 tbsp butter. Add the chopped yellow onion and chopped garlic to saute until the onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes.

2. Add the smoked paprika, ground mustard, and garlic salt and stir into the mixture for about 30 seconds.

3. Melt the remaining 4 tbsp butter in the pot. Then add the flour and stir to combine until the mixture is nice and thick, about 3-4 minutes.

4. Gradually add the chicken stock {I add mine by half cupful} and stir constantly. With the spices and aromatics, you don’t need to temper the mixture first, but keep the addition of broth gradual to avoid breaking your roux. Once you’ve added all the stock, add the cream in the same way. Then let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.

5. Add the chopped broccoli and chopped carrots to the mixture. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli florets are tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with garlic salt if needed.

6. Blend the mixture in your blender {I use my Vitamix} or with an immersion blender. Return the mixture to the stock-pot and heat while stirring in the shredded cheese until melted. Season if needed.

7. Serve and enjoy!

Note: This soup goes great with a side of chunky bread for dipping, like my Rustic No-Knead Bread or Crusty Baguette!

There you have it, delicious soup, no delivery required!

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