Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Panera Bread Version)

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Okay guys. I did it!!! I have FINALLY figured out the perfect recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Soup that tastes just like Panera Bread, the restaurant chain that made this soup such a popular hit. Actually no, I lied. This recipe tastes even better. Anyone else who has tasted it will tell you the same thing. That’s right, I said it, It tastes even better then Panera! Maybe it is because you can use your own ingredients and know exactly what’s going into the soup, and cuz you can never beat the taste of fresh home made soup. This recipe has been in the making for a few years now because I could never get it to taste just right, just like Panera. There were times that I literally made a whole pot of soup and would end up throwing out the entire pot because it tasted nothing like Panera and I was left hungry and dissapointed… Can I get a witness in the house? Lol jk. I love that I can now make this soup at home, for about $8 and it serves 4 (big bowls), and of course the taste is so much more superior. Did I mention it only takes like 45 minutes total to prepare?! That alone should be a good enough reason for you to make it for dinner this week. 😉

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Panera Bread Version) {Serves 4}

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Butter AND 4 1/2 Tablespoons Butter (For 2 separate steps)
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Half and Half
  • 1/4 Cup Flour (All Purpose Flour)
  • .75 LB Fresh Broccoli, about 1 1/2 Cups (If the big stem is cut off, with small stem left)
  • 2 Carrots (About 1 Cup, grated)
  • 10 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Shredded. I shred my own)

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Directions:

1) Dice the onion into small pieces. Set a pan on Medium-High heat (I did a 6.5) and add 1 1/2 Tablespoons of butter. When the butter melts, add the diced onion to the pan and saute, stirring every now and until the onion is soft and translucent. Set this pan with onion aside.

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2) Set a Medium sized pot on Medium heat (I did a 5.5) with the 4 1/2 Tablespoons of butter. Once the butter melts, add in the 1/4 cup flour, a spoon at a time, and mix immediately as you incorporate the flour so it does not burn but turns into a thicker texture, for about 4 minutes.

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3) Immediately add the chicken broth to the pot and stir constantly to mix well with the flour and butter mixture (this needs to be done well, so you won’t have any flour lumps). Then add the half and half. Let it simmer on Medium-Low heat (I did a 3.5) for about 20 Minutes.

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4) Meanwhile wash and cut the broccoli into both 1/2 and 1/4 inch pieces, and shorten the stems at the bottom of the broccoli. Wash and finely shred the carrots.

5) Add the chopped broccoli, shredded carrots, and sauteed onions into the pot. Let it simmer on Medium-Low (I did a 4.0) for about 20-25 minutes. Until the broccoli and carrots are soft.

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6) Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add 1/2 the shredded cheese into the pot. Mix very well to incorporate the cheese and let it melt (which only takes a few seconds).

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7) Then add the rest of the shredded cheese into the pot and let it melt. Turn heat off. Mix very well to incorporate everything. Enjoy!

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