There is something about a homemade bowl of soup that is just so comforting. This soup is no exception.
We love this soup for so many reasons. It’s easy to make, versatile, always a big hit, and healthy, but more than anything, it’s just incredibly delicious. Serve this with homemade cloverleaf dinner rolls, and you’ll have a lunch that is truly memorable. An instant home classic.
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
You will be amazed at how quickly the soup comes together but delivers just an incredible depth of flavor.
NOTE: If you liked this video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. Remember to click the little ‘bell’ icon so you’ll never miss a new video!
The Ingredients You Will Need
A quick trip to the produce section at the grocery store is all you need to grab the easy-to-find ingredients for this wonderful soup.
Here’s What You’ll Need on Hand
Oil – Olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil are best
Butter – We like the flavor of the butter with the veggies, but you can omit it and go with only olive oil
Leeks – Be sure to wash thoroughly
Carrots – Roughly chopped or sliced, we use our food processor to chop
Celery – Sliced or chopped
Garlic – Minced
Broccoli – We use about 1 and a half heads of broccoli. Save any extra for garnishing and other dishes
Flour – All-purpose flour, helps to thicken the soup somewhat
Chicken broth – Homemade is best, but purchased will work, too
Salt and pepper – Taste as you go, but this soup is best when appropriately seasoned with salt (and not too much pepper).
EXPERT TIP: You’ll want to sauté all the vegetables except for the broccoli first, for about 8 minutes, until starting to soften. No need to sauté the broccoli. You’ll sprinkle the flour directly over all of the vegetables and then stir to coat. This will act as a thickener for the soup.
Tips for Perfect Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Fresh Is Best – You’re definitely going to want to use fresh vegetables for this soup. Frozen will not come even close to producing a deeply flavorful soup and the texture will be off. Use a large sharp knife to carefully cut away the florets. Don’t throw out the stems. They are loaded with flavor and nutrients and will purée with ease.
Go with a Good Stock or Broth – The broth in this soup is a critical component for making the flavor profile deeply delicious. To keep the soup completely vegetarian, go with a vegetable broth. If you using chicken broth or stock, seriously consider making the chicken broth (easy) or roasted chicken stock (a little more involved).
Purée to Desired Consistency – Once the stock and vegetables have simmered for 20 minutes, it’s time to purée the soup. We use our handheld immersion blender which is very easy to use. You can also do this, working in batches, in your blender. Just be very careful. The soup will be very hot and you’ll need to secure the top of the blender. Purée very smoothly or slightly chunky depending on your tastes.
How To Serve
This soup is definitely best served piping hot. We love to serve it to guests for a nice brunch or lunch.
Ladle a couple of cups of soup into soup bowls and then top with another small handful of grated cheese and steamed broccoli florets.
For the florets on top of the soup, save about a 1/2 cup of fresh broccoli florets, and then while the soup is simmering, bring another small pot of water to a boil and then drop the florets into about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and save them for serving.
NOTE: We love all kinds of cheese, but we have to admit, cheddar cheese is our favorite. And it’s perfect for melting in the incredible soup! We go with a block of cheddar and grate it. This is so much better than the bagged shredded variety.
Other Classic Soup Recipes to Try
If you love soup as much as we do, you’ll probably love these recipes, too:
French Onion Soup
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Instant Pot Irish Guinness Beef Stew
Instant Pot Minestrone
Black Bean and Andouille Sausage Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Rustic Italian Lentil Soup
But in the meantime, just take a look at this incredible soup. Don’t you want to make it now?
This soup, from start to finish, will take less than an hour to have on the table.
Because there is no cream in the recipe, it freezes beautifully. And honestly, it’s even better the next day.
Simply heat it up on the stove over medium heat until simmering. And the recipe can easily be doubled for serving to a group of hungry guests!
We love the extra creamy broccoli and cheese soup that you get from Panera Bread and other locations. It’s good, rich, and very fulfilling. And heavy.
Our version truly feels like it has cream in it, but it doesn’t! You could even leave the cheese out and still have an extremely delicious soup that is very low in calories.
No matter what, this is a soup you will want to make time and time again for you and your loved ones. It’s really that good.
Ready to make the best soup in town? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 1 Large pot
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 leek white and pale green parts, sliced
- 1 carrot chopped, or thinly sliced
- 1 celery rib chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1½ heads broccoli stems and tops cut into florets (save some florets for steaming or blanching for garnish)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- In a large pot, preferably a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the butter and stir until melted.2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Add the leek, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender, about 8 minutes.1 leek, 1 carrot, 1 celery rib, 1 garlic clove
- Stir in the broccoli.1½ heads broccoli
- Sprinkle the broccoli mixture with the flour and mix well.¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.5 cups chicken broth
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, with the lid on, but ajar, until the broccoli is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove form the heat.
- Purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender, or very carefully, working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and purée.
- Add the soup back into the pot and simmer over medium-low heat.
- A handful at a time, add the Cheddar cheese to the soup, and let it melt.8 oz cheddar cheese
- Season with salt and pepper.2 tsp Kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper
- Serve piping hot topped with a few blanched florets!
POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in September 2017, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in March 2023!