This Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe is so simple, it’s on the table in less than 30 minutes! It’s a great dinner for busy weeknights or for a cold evening when you’re craving some rich and delicious comfort food.
Broccoli Cheese Soup is so filling and satisfying, you can serve it on it’s own without any sides. When I want to bulk up the meal or stretch it out to feed more people, I just serve with a copycat Olive Garden Salad and some homemade Beer Bread.
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Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
This soup is a creamy, subtle nod to Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, made at home. It’s got rich chicken broth, shredded carrots, tons of broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese. It’s ready in about 30 minutes, and uses just 9 simple ingredients.
I like to mash the broccoli up a bit at the end, so it’s not so chunky. My kids prefers it this way (no big chunks of broccoli) but there’s still a ton of flavor. It’s perfect when you need a warm, comforting dinner that the whole family will love!
This Broccoli Cheese Soup took me 25 minutes from start to finish. The process is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require a ton of simmering and cooking time since there isn’t any meat.
Ingredients for Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Olive oil – for sauteing the veggies.
Carrots – shredded on a cheese grater. If you want chunks you can slice them into coins instead.
Onion – for flavor.
Broccoli – you need 4 cups which is about 2 pounds. You can use just the broccoli florets or toss the stalks in too for less waste.
Chicken or vegetable broth – use vegetable broth for a vegetarian soup. Either one should be low sodium.
Half & Half or heavy cream – milk can be used but the fuller the fat, the richer the soup.
All-Purpose Flour – for thickening the soup.
Sharp cheddar cheese – Feel free to mix it up with the cheese. Add a little Parmesan or some gruyere, or use white cheddar instead.
Step by Step Instructions
Saute veggies. In a large pot or dutch oven, saute some chopped onions and carrots just for a couple of minutes to soften. Add the broccoli and garlic and saute for another minute or two.
Simmer. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
Mash. This step is purely for my own taste, but I like to mash the broccoli up a bit so it’s not super chunky but still has texture. If you want a super smooth cream style broccoli soup, you could use an immersion blender to get that consistency. Or, don’t mash it at all and have chunks of broccoli in every bite. Your choice.
Thicken the soup. Whisk together some flour and broth (from the soup) until the flour is completely dissolved. You can add more broth if needed. Pour the flour mixture into the soup and simmer for several minutes until it’s nice and thick.
Add the cheese. Turn off the heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until it’s completely melted. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Feel free to adjust the cheese to your liking – add more or less, or even different kinds of cheese.
Grate the carrots and onions with a cheese grater to help them blend better into the soup.
Add the stalks of the broccoli to the soup instead of tossing them for less waste and more broccoli flavor.
Serve in a regular bowl and top with more cheese. Or, try serving in a bread bowl!
Storage and Reheating
Leftovers: Let your soup cool completely, then pour into an airtight container. Homemade Broccoli Soup will last 3-4 days in the the refrigerator.
Freezing: Allow the soup to cool completely, then pour into an airtight, freezer safe container or freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possibly if using a bag, and if using a container be sure to leave an inch at the top for expansion. Store in the freezer for 4-6 months.
Stove top reheating: If frozen, thaw soup in the fridge overnight. Pour the soup into a saucepan or soup pot on the stove. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until warmed.
Microwave reheating: Pour soup into a microwave safe bowl and cover with a paper towel or loosely with a microwave safe lid. Heat on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring at least once for even heating.
How do you thicken broccoli cheese soup?
Combine flour and some of the broth, then add it to the simmering soup. It should thicken up in about 5 minutes. You can also use cornstarch. Alternatively, you can make a roux at the beginning with butter and flour.
Can broccoli cheese soup be frozen?
It absolutely can! Cool the soup completely, then freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 4-6 months.
What goes with broccoli cheese soup?
This soup can be served as a meal or as a starter with smaller portions. As a meal, all you need is a great loaf of crusty bread or some homemade dinner rolls and a big green salad for a complete meal.
2large carrotsfinely diced or shredded (about 1 cups)
1small onionfinely diced or shredded (about 1 cup)
4cupsbroccolichopped, finely chopped, some stems included
32ounceslow-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½cupsmilk or creamI used half nonfat milk and half heavy cream
6ouncesfresh sharp cheddar cheeseshredded (about a cup and a half)
In a large 5 quart soup pot (dutch oven), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened; 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and broccoli and cook until broccoli turns bright green; about 1-2 minutes.
Add chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until broccoli is soft. Mash gently with a potato masher to break up vegetables. (This is an optional step, but if you want the soup really chunky you can skip it).
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, add the flour and slowly whisk in about ¼ cup of the soup liquid (skimmed from the pot, without vegetables). When completely smooth (add more liquid if needed) stir into the soup pot. Immediately stir/whisk in the cream/milk and stir until completely combined. Simmer (turn up the heat a little if needed) for 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Continue to stir until cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional shredded cheddar, if desired.
Leftovers: Let your soup cool completely, then pour into an airtight container. Homemade Broccoli Soup will last 3-4 days in the the refrigerator.Freezing: Allow the soup to cool completely, then pour into an airtight, freezer safe container or freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possibly if using a bag, and if using a container be sure to leave an inch at the top for expansion. Store in the freezer for 4-6 months.Stove top reheating: If frozen, thaw soup in the fridge overnight. Pour the soup into a saucepan or soup pot on the stove. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until warmed.Microwave reheating: Pour soup into a microwave safe bowl and cover with a paper towel or loosely with a microwave safe lid. Heat on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring at least once for even heating.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.