Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients: – 4 tablespoons unsalted butter – 1 small onion, chopped – 2 cloves garlic, minced – 1/4 cup all-purpose flour – 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

– 2 cups milk (whole or 2% recommended) – 2 cups half-and-half – 4 cups chopped broccoli floret – 2 large carrots, peeled and grated – 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

– Salt and pepper to taste – Pinch of nutmeg (optional) – Croutons or bread for serving (optional)

Sauté Onion and Garlic: – In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté for about 3-4 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Make the Roux: – Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic, and stir to combine, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste.

Add Broth and Milk: – Gradually pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.

Add Broccoli and Carrots: – Add the chopped broccoli florets and grated carrots to the pot. Let the soup simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Blend (Optional): – At this point, you can use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup to your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can transfer a portion of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth, then return it to the pot.

Add Half-and-Half and Cheese: – Stir in the half-and-half and shredded cheddar cheese, a little at a time, until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy. Be careful not to let the soup boil once the cheese has been added to prevent curdling.

Season and Serve: – Season the soup with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg, if desired, to taste. Stir well to combine. – Ladle the broccoli cheddar soup into bowls, and serve hot with croutons or bread on the side.


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