Monday, January 17, 2022

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup in 5 Easy Steps

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Learn how to make broccoli cheddar soup

The English word ‘soup’ comes from the French word ‘soupe.’ The word originates from the Latin term ‘suppa,’ which means bread soaked in broth. This is the reason you must have seen soups served with crusty bread or a loaf of bread.

Sometimes even served in a scooped bread bowl. Soups are prepared by mixing vegetables, meat, herbs, and spices.

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup in 5 Easy Steps 1
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Soup is primarily a liquid food that is served either hot or cold. According to traditional French cuisines, there are two soups, namely clear soups and thick soups. Soups are known for their comforting flavors. 

In this article, we will see some delicious soup recipes. So, let’s start with broccoli cheddar soup. 

What makes broccoli favorable for soups

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup in 5 Easy Steps 2
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Ever wondered why you hear a lot about broccoli soups. Most of the time, when you go through a soup recipe, you read the term ‘add broccoli.’ What makes broccoli special?

Broccoli is very low in calories. Other than that, it consists of approximately 90% water which makes it a hydrating vegetable. Both the stalk and flower parts of broccoli can be eaten after blanching. The taste of broccoli ranges from mild to bitter.

The nutrition facts for 1 cup ( approx 91 grams) of raw broccoli are

  • Calories: 31 grams
  • Protein: 2.5 grams
  • Water: 89%
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Sugar: 1.5 grams
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams

Although I completely agree with you that people hate it but with all the goodness that broccoli gives. Blending it in soups is the best thing that can be done.

The popularity of cheese in soups

Cheese gets a lot of attention in soups as well. It adds a lot of flavor to the soup. You can use cheese as the main ingredient, or it can be used as a garnish on the finished soup.

A bonus tip is to add shredded cheese from the block instead of buying packaged shredded cheese as it forms clumps and doesn’t melt properly.

Types of cheese used in soups:

  1. Parmigiano-Reggiano can be shredded on the top of soups. The taste is salty, which adds richness to the soup. The rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano is also added to the soups for extra flavor. Simmer the rind in the vegetable or chicken broth for 15 minutes or more.
  2. Gruyere is considered best for French onion soup. It has a nutty, earthy, and slightly sweet flavor. It also goes well with German onion soups. This cheese gets gooey when melted, so it’s meaningful to use in fewer amounts.
  3. Cheddar is considered a major ingredient in most soups. The taste of cheddar is considered universal, and it melts well in soups. Cheddar soups are the most famous soups.
  4. Queso Fresco refers to fresh cheese which is not funded. It is considered the best for soups as its texture becomes soft in hot soup but doesn’t melt completely.
  5. Manchego is a Spanish cheese that is firm and has a buttery taste, with an olive flavor. This cheese is preferred for garnishing.

Types of Cheddar cheese and its nutritional value

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup in 5 Easy Steps 3
Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Cheddar is a semi-hard natural cheese that originated in the village of Cheddar, in the southwestern English county of Somerset.

There are several types of cheddar cheese available. You can choose between mild, medium, and sharp cheddar cheese. Adding shredded cheese to soups and dishes makes the dish further appetizing.

Cheddar cheese is made in several countries, but the best one you can get is in the United States. The Americans learned the cheddar cheese recipe from the English during British colonial rule.

Cheddar is a delightful addition to soups and dishes. But many people have concerns about using cheddar in their soups. Also, anything taken in moderation is never bad for health.

The nutritional information for 28 grams of cheddar cheese as provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is:

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Sodium: 190 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram
  • Protein: 7 grams

Now, let’s have a look at the soup recipe. 

The delicious soup recipe is here

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Photo by Javier Disabato from Pexels

Let’s go through the full recipe of broccoli cheddar cheese soup. The soup is refreshing and flavorful. The cooking time of the soup is approximately 1 hour.

This soup is easy for dinner, especially when you want to have something lighter. Other versions of the broccoli cheddar soup recipe are also discussed below, so read until the end.

The recipe shared here with you is similar to Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup recipe. Many of the internet bloggers called it Copycat Panera Broccoli cheddar soup.

Here you go with the ingredients list.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ cups of broccoli florets
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 4-5 bulbs of garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup bite-sized pieces of carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 ½ cups of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and Black pepper as per taste
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • Chives and red pepper flakes for garnishing

5 steps to make broccoli cheddar soup

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 8 

The broccoli cheddar soup recipe is explained here for you. Follow the instructions carefully to prepare the best broccoli cheddar soup.

  1. Blanch the fresh broccoli florets: Take a large pot of water to boil and add a pinch of salt. Add 1 ½ cup broccoli stalks and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Boiling for a few minutes doesn’t take away the bright green color of the broccoli and makes it crispy and fork-tender at the same time. You can use frozen broccoli florets if fresh ones are not available.
  2. Saute the veggies: Melt butter in a pot, and keep the flame at medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and chopped garlic, stir fry the onions for 2 minutes or so to make them translucent.
  3. Add nutmeg, a  dash of salt, black pepper, and the blanched broccoli. If you are a big vegetable fan, then you can add blanched carrots and celery. Instead of garlic, you can add garlic powder. Keep stirring all the veggies on medium heat.
  4. Add milk and flour: Take one cup of water, add ¼ cup flour, and whisk it to make a thick paste. Add that paste to the pot in which you stirred the onions. Also, add a pinch of garlic powder. Now stir to combine and remove flour lumps, cook for 1 minute, pour milk and cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Cook a little more: Add your favorite cheddar cheese to the broccoli soup. Cover and reduce the flame to medium-low heat, simmer for 20 minutes. Let the broccoli florets become tender, and it starts to develop their flavor. It’s important to add sharp cheddar as it gives a characteristic flavor and aroma.

For cooking soups, you can use an Instant Pot, which is a brand of multicookers. The multicookers are electronically controlled, incorporating pressure cookers and slow cookers. Instant Pots can be used to make many types of recipes.

Tips & Tricks:

#1 The key role of consistency

Consistency of the soup matters a lot. So, what consistency would you like in your broccoli cheddar soup?

Depending on how you like it, add water along. You can choose to add vegetable stock or chicken stock. To thicken the soup, you can add the cornstarch slurry.

#2 Puree the soup

Let the soup cool down completely. Slowly pour the mixture into an immersion blender to puree the soup. Keep in mind to blend in batches.

Rather than just tossing all the soup in the blender. Pour it back into the big pot when it’s blended. Put on a low flame to make your pureed good soup hot and flavorful. 

#3 Season to taste and serve

Taste the seasonings and adjust according to flavor. Add black pepper, salt, and a little more cheddar cheese (Don’t worry about the calories, work out a little more in the gym tomorrow) to the pureed soup and stir over low heat until the cheese has melted. 

You can add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and a little more cheese for that evil cheesy flavor to make the soup rich. Add some thinly sliced chives and red pepper flakes.

How to serve the Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The very first way to serve is to make a crusty bread bowl. You can make a crusty bread bowl at home.

Still, if not possible, then serve it in a regular soup bowl. The recipe that you prepared with so much love tastes great in a regular soup bowl also.

The broccoli cheddar soup is considered a light meal to complement the soup. You can try a few options available.

Nutritional Value in Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Amounts per serving

Calories: 20g

Total Fat: 23g

Saturated Fat: 14g

Cholesterol: 66mg

Sodium: 1114mg

Total Carbohydrate: 17g

Dietary Fibre: 3g

Total Sugars: 7g

Protein: 14g

Vitamin C: 42mg

Calcium: 399mg

Iron: 1mg

Potassium: 404mg

The Gluten-free version of broccoli cheese soup

  1. If you want the recipe to be gluten-free, you can add cornstarch paste.
  2. If you are not comfortable with cornstarch, you can substitute it with rice flour or arrowroot flour.
  3. This also makes the dish low-carb. Don’t worry the taste will not differ much if you use a different flour mixture.

Spicy Broccoli Cheddar soup

If you are the one who loves spices, then you can make your soup spicy too. Accordingly, you can add 2-3 chopped chilies while frying onions. A dash of Tabasco also works fine for spice lovers out there.

If you are a fan of tangy and sweet taste, you can use a little bit of Worcestershire sauce though this is completely optional.

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar soup

Instead of butter, you can switch to olive oil. Use 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Instead of milk, you can switch to alternative soymilk or almond milk again without compromising the taste. Almond milk gives a unique nutty taste, do give it a try.

When blending the soup, add 1/2 cup raw soaked (4 hours) cashews, 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard.

Cashew cheese is quite similar to dairy cheese. You can whip it to make it soft and spreadable or hard and sliceable. It can also be flavored by adding spices, garlic powder, herbs. Cashews are great alternatives for giving your dish a creamy texture and creating dairy-free cheese.

Hummus and tahini is healthy cheese substitute. It adds richness to the soup, and you can add hot pesto sauce or a spoonful of vegan pesto to enhance the taste.

Nutritional yeast is almost used in all vegan recipes to get a cheesy taste. Nutritional yeast consists of vital minerals and vitamins. Nutritional yeast is also a vegan protein source.

Swap the ingredients with vegan alternatives mentioned above. There will be no change in the taste of the cheese soup.

How to Freeze Broccoli Cheddar soup

Broccoli Cheddar soup can also be frozen. Soups are great if you want to prepare your meal in advance.

When your delicious soup is ready, store half of it in the freezer to enjoy later. If you are tired after a long hectic day, you can take out the soup from the freezer and heat it on a medium flame.

Add a little bit of butter for extra flavor, and it’s ready to serve. Leftover soup stays well in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Also, you may notice a little color change which is fine.

What about Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup

Let me make a guess, I think you searched for Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and you ended up at this recipe. Well, Panera’s Broccoli cheddar soup recipe is doing rounds throughout the internet.

Panera’s broccoli soup is the reason for the popularity of ‘broccoli cheese soup.’ It is considered comfort food, and I know you are trying to copy the precise recipe by Panera’s. The broccoli soup recipe discussed here is exactly what you will get at Panera’s.

Reasons to prepare this soup:

After going through the recipe, if you can still decide whether to make the soup or not, here are the reasons why you should try the soup. 

  • Soups keep you hydrated, especially the broccoli soups. As discussed above, broccoli contains a great amount of water. During winters, you drink less amount of water. Soups are a great way to stay hydrated as your body needs water even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Soups are loaded with disease-fighting nutrients. They give a boost to the immune system. Chicken broth, in particular, helps to prevent the common cold. If you are adding carrots, celery, and freshly chopped garlic, then it’s good for your immunity. One tip is to reduce the cream if you are preparing for someone who is ill. You can add extra veggies to increase the nutritional value.
  • Most of the soups are easy to cook with limited ingredients. You can use a slow cooker or an instant pot to prepare the soup in an hour. Adding vegetable stock or chicken stock to your soup is economical and good for your health.
  • Soups are economical to prepare if you amp up the liquid and vegetables; you can use fewer expensive ingredients like cheese, chicken, and meat. Whole-grain bread and salad complete the meal with soup. The cooking time is also very less in making soups as compared to other meals.
  • Broccoli is good for your heart health, so if you don’t like to consume it in vegetable form, you can try the soup. 
  • Broccoli cheddar soup is also weight-loss friendly, as it has low calories. 

Overall, soups are good for you. They serve as a huge way to eat vegetables without adjusting with the taste buds.

Do give it a try to prepare broccoli cheddar soup this week for you and your family. You can add onions, garlic, pumpkins, squash, carrots, celery. The list is endless.


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