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Panera Copycat Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe

Updated on October 14, 2019

Delicious Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe

5 stars from 2 ratings of Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe

Hungry?? Looking for something delicious and simple to make for dinner? Is it a nasty cold winter night or chilly fall afternoon? This recipe will warm you up on cold days and not tire you out! It is a simple and easy recipe that is great for lunch or dinner. Pair it with a ham & grilled cheese sandwich or a simple panini for a complete meal. I love to also serve this in a bread bowl for that wow factor when you have guests over. This would be a great start to a meal for when company comes over too! I love this recipe because it is simple, delicious, filling and is made with ingredients you have on supply most of the time.

This recipe is just the perfect balance of broccoli to cheese in my opnion. It is creamy and rich. It is a "stick to your bones" kind of meal!

Cook Time

Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: approximately 8


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 quart or 4 cups half & half
  • 4 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, frozen or fresh
  • 2 cups carrots, (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated is best
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 16 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. In a small saute pan with a pat of butter saute onions until soft.
  2. While onions are cooking get out a large pot. Melt butter. Add flour to make a roux. Whisk flour and butter together. Allow to cook for approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Slowly add chicken stock to the roux continually whisking until it is all incorporated. Then add 1/2 and 1/2 and stir to combine.
  4. Allow to simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Add broccoli and carrots (if desired...I like mine without the carrots but to be a true copycat of Panera carrots are included). Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.
  6. Add salt, pepper and grated nutmeg.
  7. Place in a blender or use an immersion blender right in the pot (this is the simplest and best way if you have one). Blend until desired consistency.
  8. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
  9. Serve in a bread bowl if desired.

Sauté onions in a saute pan

Make the roux

Make sure to whisk, whisk, whisk so the roux doesn't burn.  You want to make sure to cook the roux for a couple of minutes to get the flour taste out of the roux.  It will begin to slightly turn a golden color.
Make sure to whisk, whisk, whisk so the roux doesn't burn. You want to make sure to cook the roux for a couple of minutes to get the flour taste out of the roux. It will begin to slightly turn a golden color.

Add half & half and chicken stock. Simmer 20 minutes.

Add broccoli and carrots. Simmer 25 minutes.

Add salt, pepper and your freshly grated nutmeg

Blend in blender or use immersion blender as pictured here.

Add cheddar cheese and stir.

Serve and enjoy!!

Where to get bread bowls??

When I first saw this recipe I searched all over trying to find bread bowls at local bakeries and supermarkets. NO LUCK! I was totally bummed until one of my friends suggested getting them from Panera!! Duh!! Who knew??? I decided to call ahead before I went there and they didn't have any left. To my surprise not only did they have them but they asked me if I would like them pre-cut!! I was so happy....I had no idea I could pre-order them! I decided to get double what I actually needed to put in the freezer for those cold winter nights when soup is just the perfect cure! The bread bowls freeze perfect! I was also able to find something that was a good substitute, not truly a bread bowl but rather a big roll, at a local "Best Yet" supermarket next to the fresh bagels and rolls. They also froze very good. I like to toast up my bread bowls in my toaster oven on "toast" prior to ladling in the soup. The Panera bread bowls fit about 2 ladle's full which I believe is about 2 cups worth. Quite a nice portion, plus the yummy crusty bread to dip in!! Just perfection! I'm in love with this recipe and it is my go to for cold winter nights. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! To serve this recipe for approximately 4 servings, simply cut the recipe in half. Enjoy!


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