Broccoli Cheddar Soup (No Cream)

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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.

A person raising a spoon filled with broccoli cheddar soup with a broccoli floret sitting on top all over of a bowl of the soup.

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Get a jump on preparing this dish, and make a batch of homemade chicken broth or roasted chicken stock.

You will be amazed at how quickly the soup comes together but delivers just an incredible depth of flavor.


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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 brothHomemade 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.

A pot filled with chopped carrots, sliced leeks, and chopped carrots, and then that same pot with flour being sprinkled over the sautéed vegetables including broccoli.

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.

Chicken stock being poured into a pot of sautéed broccoli and carrots and then that same pot with an immersion blender that has puréed the vegetables.

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.

This soup is also amazing with sandwiches, like a Classic BLT with Basil Aioli or an Italian-Style Panini.

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.

A person dropping a large handful of shredded cheddar cheese into a pot of puréed broccoli soup.

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
Creamy Tortellini Soup with Spinach and Sausage
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?

An overhead view of a large black pot filled with puréed broccoli soup with a large wooden ladle in the middle of it.

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!

A straight-on view of two soup bowls filled with broccoli cheddar soup topped with shredded melty cheese and broccoli florets.

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.

An overhead view of two black soup bowls filled with broccoli cheddar soup next to pieces of bread and uncooked broccoli florets.

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!

A close-up view of a black soup bowl filled with broccoli cheddar soup topped with melty shredded cheese and broccoli florets.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe is the ultimate in comfort soup. Veggies, broth, and cheddar. It just doesn't get much better than that! So good! Making the chicken stock the day before really puts the soup over the top, but you can use store-bought broth and still get decent results.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli cheddar soup with no cream, how to make broccoli cheddar soup, soup recipes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 326kcal


  • 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
  • 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!


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
You'll need about 1 and a half heads of broccoli (about 2 lbs). Use both the stems and florets.
We recommend going with quality block cheddar cheese and then shredding it with a food processor (with the shredding attachment) or with a box grater.   
The soup will keep covered in the fridge for 5 days and can be frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until bubbly and heated through. 


Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 1810mg | Potassium: 619mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3397IU | Vitamin C: 138mg | Calcium: 364mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

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!


    • Thanks, Diane! We agree! We do love a good creamy soup, but…this doesn’t need it (and is so much healthier..but just as yummy!). Thanks so much for sharing and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 4 stars
    This came together easily and really hit the spot on taste. I have been using my blender for puréed soups as it gives you a creamy, smooth presentation. But using a stick blender is so easy and gives this soup a nice consistency. I will definitely double up on my carrots, celery and leeks next time and weigh the broccoli to get to a lb. Thank you for the simple, excellent recipe!

    • Hi Kate!! Woo hoo!! So so so so thrilled you loved the broccoli cheddar soup! One of our all-time favorites, for sure!! Thank you for letting us know and for the awesome review. That means the world to us!! All the very best, Kris & Wesley

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