Looking for an easy, healthy weeknight meal?
Does this ever happen to you? Every time I was craving Panera’s broccoli and cheddar soup they were either sold out or the soup was lukewarm and seemed like it was sitting out forever. When the soup was available or seemed fresh, it was my go-to meal! I crave this soup all the time in the fall and winter months so I set out to re-create it. Now I’d choose this soup over Panera’s version any day!
A Healthier Alternative
I love that I can have my favorite soup as often as I want and know exactly what is in it! With this soup you have full control over all of the ingredients. Feel free to make this a vegetarian friendly soup by swapping the chicken stock with vegetable broth. Gluten sensitive? Try using gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose or leave out the flour and thicken the soup with cornstarch and water at the end.
Make it a Meal!
Pair a bowl of this soup with a piece of crusty bread and a fresh side salad to make it a healthy, satisfying meal. Perfect for weeknights when you’re short on time!
Copycat Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 1/4 cup Butter melted
- 1/2 Onion chopped
- 1/4 cup All-purpose flour
- 2 cups Half and half
- 2 cups Chicken stock
- 3 cups Broccoli chopped
- 1 cup Carrot matchstick cut
- 1/8 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté until soft.
- Add in the flour. Cook and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the half and half and chicken stock.
- Stir in the broccoli and carrots. Cook over low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occassionally.
- Add approximately half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the unblended portion and stir to combine.
- Turn off the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in the nutmeg and stir well.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese and allow to melt. Do not turn the heat back on to melt the cheese or the soup will become grainy.
- Serve immediately and enjoy with some crusty bread and a side salad.
- Try serving this soup in a bread bowl! Many grocery stores and bakeries sell bread bowls.
- If you have the time, shred the cheddar cheese yourself. Doing this extra step will result in a creamier texture.
- Make sure that you do not turn the heat back on to melt the cheese. Melting the cheese at a high heat will sauce the soup to become grainy.
- This soup freezes very well! Simply freeze in freezer bags.
- To prevent soup from breaking while reheating, heat the soup slowly over medium low heat and stir occasionally.
- To make a vegetarian friendly version of this soup, simply swap the chicken stock with vegetable broth.
- If you are out of half and half, feel free to swap it for whatever kind of milk you have on hand. Heavy cream will even work in this soup!
- This soup can be made gluten free by swapping the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour.
- Feel free to leave the nutmeg out if you don’t have any on hand.