Hot and Delicious Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup!
Well, it looks as if winter will be remaining obstinately in place for at least the next month and a half. (Darn that groundhog, anyway!) Have you heard that this has been the second coldest February on record?
Yep, that’s a fact, Jack . . . or Jill, or whatever your name happens to be.
But, since that’s the hand we’ve been dealt, how about we make the best of it by pulling on some wool socks, lighting a fire, and cooking up some steamy, delicious broccoli cheddar soup.
This particular recipe was created to mimic Panera’s creamy soup. If you’re not aware, there are scads of restaurant knock off recipes online. If there’s a menu item from a restaurant chain that you crave, just go to Google and look it up. You may be surprised how easy it is to recreate the famous “yum” factor in your own un-famous home.
Our boys love this broccoli cheddar soup and order it quite often when we visit Panera. I started making it at home a few years ago, and it’s been a big hit every time I serve it.
You can kick it up a notch by serving it in hollowed-out sourdough bread bowls like they do in the restaurant. You’ll get heartfelt thank yous, as well as decrease the dishes you have to wash.
Don’t expect any tips, though.
All that was left on the table were two plates, two spoons, and a few breadcrumbs.
Recipe courtesy of: myblessedlife.com
Makes 8-10 servings.
- 2 T. Butter, melted
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 c. butter, melted
- 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 4 c. half and half
- 4 c. chicken broth
- 1 lb. fresh broccoli
- 2 cups, julienned carrots
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- 16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Sauté onion in butter in a frying pan. Set aside.
In a large soup pot, whisk butter and flour over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
Stir constantly and slowly add half and half. Add chicken stock, still whisking. (Use a whisk though, not a spoon like I did! For shame! I may have dropped my rubber-coated whisk on the floor leaving behind a sloppy mess and had to resort to using this wooden spoon. But since there aren’t any incriminating photos to prove my klutziness, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen.)
Simmer 20 minutes.
Add broccoli, carrots and sautéed onion.
Cook over low heat until veggies are tender – about 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup will have thickened by now.
Carefully transfer soup mixture to blender and puree. ~ OR ~ Do it the simple way and use an immersion blender, also affectionately known in our household as the “boat motor mixer”. These babies are fantastic! I use mine all of the time to blend soups without having to transfer the lava hot mixture into a blender only to have the top blow off.
Okay, here’s a good one: Kitchen Aid Immersion blender at Target. It runs anywhere from $39.99 to $59.99. They’re small, they’re convenient, and they stop you from taking a shower in hot cheese soup.
Blended. Done. Easy peasy. Take a look at the blender in the photo above. All you do is press the gray button, and the bottom blender wand pops off for easy clean-up.
NO, I am not getting paid for this ad. Frankly, I’m not getting paid for anything by anyone.
Yet . . .
If using a standing blender, return soup to pot over low heat. Add cheese. Stir until well blended. Add nutmeg right before serving.
The boys and I had this for supper on Saturday while Jame was out visiting with old high school friends.
And it was cheesy, filling, hot, and delicious!
I love making the kids’ restaurant favorites on our kitchen stove and eating them at the comfort of our kitchen table.
In my opinion, it’s the best of both worlds!
Here’s the fold-it-in-your-purse-for-the-grocery-store printable version of the recipe:
Panera Copycat Broccoli and Cheese Soup
|Serves||8 - 10|
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 Large onion
- 1/2 cup butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups half and half
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1lb fresh broccoli
- 2 cups julienned carrots
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 16oz sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
|Saute onion in butter in a frying pan. Set aside.|
|In a large pot, whisk butter and flour over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and then slowly add half and half. Add chicken stock, still whisking. Simmer for 20 minutes.|
|Add broccoli, carrots and onion. Cook over low heat until veggies are tender - about 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup will have thickened by now.|
|Carefully transfer soup mixture to blender and puree. Return soup to pot over low heat. Add cheese. Stir until well-blended. Add nutmeg right before serving.|
|Serve in hollowed-out sourdough bread rounds with extra cheese on top.|