This Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is easy to make in less than 30 minutes and lightened up a bit with no heavy cream, yet still tastes just as cozy and comforting and delicious as ever.
Soup season has officially returned. And I, for one, am here for it. ♡
I already have a list a mile long on my phone of new soup recipes that I’m hoping to share on the blog this winter. (Stay tuned!) But for our very first soup recipe of the season today, I thought we could return to a cozy classic that I’ve been craving for months — classic broccoli cheese soup.
Oh my goodness, I absolutely adore a good bowl of broccoli cheddar soup. It always feels so cozy and comforting during the wintertime, especially served up in a bread bowl or with a nice crusty baguette. And I have to say that I’m especially partial to this particular broccoli cheese soup recipe, because when I’m the one cooking it from scratch, I get to control the ingredients.
For example, by contrast to most restaurant broccoli cheddar soups, this recipe is lightened-up with milk instead of lots of heavy cream. I also love making it with a good, aged, sharp white cheddar cheese, in order to add a big kick of flavor (and avoid those unnecessary orange food colorings). This recipe also allows you to control the tenderness of the broccoli, keeping it more on the crisp side of simmering it until it’s super-soft (or pureeing the soup until it’s completely creamy). Most of all, though, I just love this recipe because it tastes super fresh and flavorful, and is made with so much broccoli.
And it’s easy to make in just 30 minutes! Soup time!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredients:
To make this easy broccoli cheddar soup recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Butter or olive oil: We will use these to sauté the veggies and form part of our roux.
- Broccoli: 1 large head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets.
- Veggies: Onions and carrots, nice and diced.
- Seasonings: Garlic, a touch of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Flour: To make a roux and thicken the soup. (Feel free to use gluten-free flour if preferred.)
- Veggie stock: Or chicken stock would also work.
- Milk: I typically make this soup with 2% milk, but feel free to sub in your preferred kind of cow’s milk or a plain non-dairy milk.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: The type of cheese you use will really make a difference in this soup, so I recommend springing for a good one! I’m partial to aged sharp white cheddar myself.
How To Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup:
To make this broccoli cheese soup recipe, simply…
- Sauté the veggies. Cook the onion, carrots and garlic in butter (or oil) until softened.
- Make the roux. Stir in the flour and give it a minute or so to cook. Then stir in the chicken stock, milk and mustard until combined.
- Simmer. Let the soup continue to cook until it reaches a simmer. Then reduce the heat to maintain the simmer.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir in the broccoli and cheddar until combined, then continue to cook the soup until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness. (I like mine to stay fairly crisp, so I don’t cook mine very long.)
- Serve warm. Garnished with extra cheese if you’d like!
Any leftover broccoli and cheese soup can be stored in sealed containers (affiliate link) for up to 3 days. Unfortunately, this soup does not freeze well, so I don’t recommend it.
Possible Recipe Variations:
Want some more options for how to customize your own broccoli soup recipe? Feel free to:
- Purée the soup: If you would like to make more of a cream of broccoli soup, just use an immersion blender to puree half or all of the soup until smooth. Or you can puree cheesy broccoli soup in a traditional blender — just be sure, as always when blending hot liquids, to blend the soup in small batches so that the hot soup doesn’t expand and explode out of the top of your blender. (I always tent the cap on my blender lid open a bit, too, and cover it with a towel to let any extra hot air escape.)
- Add cauliflower: To make broccoli cauliflower soup, feel free to use half broccoli and half cauliflower.
- Add extra veggies: Feel free to toss any other soup-friendly diced veggies into this soup as well. You will just either need to sauté them along with the onions, or simmer the broth a bit longer (before adding the broccoli and cheddar) to be sure that they have time to fully cook.
- Make it gluten-free: To make gluten-free broccoli cheese soup, just be sure to use a certified GF flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour.
- Make it vegan: Use olive oil or vegan butter (in place of the butter), plain dairy-free milk (such as almond or oat milk), and either vegan cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (in place of the cheese).
- Use a different kind of cheese: If cheddar isn’t your thing, this soup would also taste delicious with smoked gouda, Pepperjack, gruyere or even mozzarella cheese.
- Make Panera-style broccoli cheddar soup: The famous Panera broccoli cheddar soup recipe is a bit more indulgent, made with a mixture of heavy cream and milk. Panera also uses shredded carrots (instead of diced) and adds a pinch of white pepper to the soup, which I highly recommend if you have some on hand.
More Creamy Soup Recipes:
If you’re looking for more creamy, cozy, comforting soup recipes, here are a few of my faves!
This Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is quick and easy to make in less than 30 minutes, lightened up a bit, yet it still just as cozy and comforting and flavorful as ever.
- 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
- 3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 8 ounces (2 cups) freshly-grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for serving
- 4 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 large head of broccoli)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- Heat butter (or oil) in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted. Add onion and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Stir in the flour and sauté for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the chicken stock until it is evenly combined. Stir in the milk and mustard until combined. Continue cooking until the soup, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium. Add in the broccoli and cheddar, and stir until combined. Continue cooking for 2-4 more minutes, or until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness.
- Serve immediately, garnished with extra shredded cheese if desired.
This post contains affiliate links.