broccoli cheddar soup Recipes

broccoli cheddar soup

For reasons I cannot — for once, I mean, good riddance — articulate, I spent half the summer, the half I was gestating this tiny moppet, with a nonstop craving for broccoli cheddar soup, something I’d never actually eaten before. I think a comment got it started and even though I can no longer find it, I’ll never forgive it. Sure, I had heard of the soup, but it always seemed to be in that category of foods it was better not to investigate. I mean, just consider all of the ways our lives have been ruined by finding how ridiculous brown butter and sea salt flakes are in crispy treats, or what happens when you make saltine crack into an ice cream sandwich, or butter in tomato sauce. I didn’t want to know why a cheddar cheese soup base was an obsession of so many people.


timber!
chopped small

But once it got in my head, no amount of earnest effort could distract me for long. So, I got to Googling and mashed up several well-rated recipes with overlapped ingredients and brought to the table that night something that was basically a rich cheese sauce with a few flecks of broccoli — i.e. almost cruelly delicious but seriously, if I want a cheese sauce, I promise, I will always just make one. (Regardless, we all slurped it up.)

carrots are essential, imho

The next time, I used less butter, less cream and more broccoli and worried I was becoming a total bore because it was still to me more rich than it needed to be. (But there were no leftovers again.)

adding the vegetables

The third time I made it, I finally found a broccoli level that made the soup more green than white and a cream level that tasted rich but not worrisomely so and everyone loved the taste I gave them but I put it in the freezer because we were [drumroll] planning ahead! We were, for once, going to be those people that prioritized the future over the present! We were going to freezer-meal-as-a-verb like pros! We were going to thank our summer selves all fall.

lightly blended

And then the next night we took it out of the freezer and had it for dinner because planning schmanning, this soup was too good to wait to eat. I regret everything! (Time for a do-over.)

broccoli cheddar soup

One year ago: Cucumber Lemonade and Sunken Apple and Honey Cake
Two years ago: Frico Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Three years ago: Homemade Wheat Thins
Four years ago: Apple and Honey Challah
Five years ago: Monkey Cake and Beef Chili with Cheddar Sour Cream Biscuits
Six years ago: Grilled Lamb Kebabs + Tzatziki and Snickerdoodles
Seven years ago: The Baked Brownie, Spiced Up and Braised Romano Beans
Eight years ago: Red Velvet Cake and Spaghetti with Chorizo and Almonds
Nine years ago: Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Baked Chickpeas with Pita Chips and Yogurt
1.5 Years Ago: Wholegrain Cinnamon Swirl Bread
2.5 Years Ago: Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini
3.5 Years Ago: Raspberry Coconut Macaroons
4.5 Years Ago: Oat and Maple Syrup Scones and Spaetzle

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Instead of 1 cup half-and-half, you could use 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup additional stock or broth. I like to use both broccoli florets and stems when I cook, and I find that the stems cook up with the best texture and at the same rate as the florets when I peel them first. I did so here.

Serves 4 to 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped small
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (here’s my favorite chicken stock)
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds broccoli or 4 cups broccoli florets and stems, chopped small
1 large carrot (about 6 ounces) or 2 slim ones, chopped tiny (1 cup)
8 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus a pinch extra for garnish

Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and adjust seasoning if needed, but err on the cautious side with the salt because the cheese will add a bit. Puree the soup to your desired texture — I like mine fairly chunky, just lightly blended — with an immersion blender or in an upright one. Back on the stove, add cheese and whisk until melted, about 1 minute.

Serve in bowls, garnished with a pinch of cheese. We like a hearty slice of grainy toasted bread on the side, for swiping.

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202 comments on broccoli cheddar soup

  1. I have always wanted to make this soup…it is one of my favorites…but like you I often find the ones I have in restaurants are more like eating cheese sauce, not soup. Can’t wait to give yours a go. I may even try a bit of smoked Gouda in the mix.

  2. Well, I know what I’m making this weekend. Thankfully it’s cooled off enough up here that I feel like cooking indoors again.

    Something I’ve done in the past with this soup is use two heads of broccoli – one chopped into chunks/florets the size you want, and another to just shave all the little tiny green parts off the top and mix into the soup. It makes the broccoli flavor much more pronounced in there, and gives it an pretty cool texture as well – that way, you can use stronger cheeses in it as well, and not overpower the broccoli-ness (yes, it’s a word to me, dammit) of it all. Also, this way, you don’t have to blend anything at all unless you’re really wanting a much smoother soup – I like the chunkier version, myself. Happy souping. :)

  3. I feel like a fanatic creep for even knowing this, but might it be this comment? https://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/10/cauliflower-cheese/#comment-10270966

    I was just on there last night trying to find a new use for my languishing cauliflower head and this too stuck in my head, so you’ll forgive me for secretly thinking I have magical powers in influencing your recipe decisions in any way.

    You have single-handedly induced in me a seemingly-permanent craving for broccoli, so I am excited to get warmed up on swiftly cooling evenings with this delicious looking number!

  4. Um. I think this was my fault. I had that same uncontrollable urge for broccoli and cheddar soup around week 32 or so. Craved it and craved it until I couldn’t hold out any longer, and even though it was springtime, made some, gobbled it up, then made some more, wrote about it, then froze the batch for times when the baby and the toddler made cooking things impossible. Just double checked it — April 23 — so post-Passover for the second round of soup. The recipe I used didn’t call for carrots, but I’m liking the sound of it. No garlic, either. I wonder what a difference that makes… I used orange cheddar, but your white cheddar makes things look classier, if that’s possible when talking about a bowl of soup.

    Thankfully, like last time, just like my mother promised me, babies nap a lot so I’ve actually had more time in the kitchen than I thought I would.

  5. I don’t know how you do it … so many times I am thinking of something for dinner and you post a recipe for it! Just got back from the store with carrots, broccoli, onion and cheese … and here is the recipe I was going to look for … but now I don’t have to look!

  6. Do you think this will work with some frozen broccoli slaw I have? It is all stems so I wasn’t sure.. I think I’ll try it anyway!

  7. I love broccoli cheddar soup and will be making this soon! How much (volume) chopped onion do you estimate is in “one small onion”? Also, I typically add my cream/milk after pureeing because I worry it will overcook — is there a benefit to putting it in while you are cooking the carrots and broccoli?

  8. Broccoli cheddar soup is one of my all-time favorites! How did this one re-heat after being frozen? I’ve found that in a lot of recipes I’ve tried, the texture is kind of weird because the cheese and the liquid separate a bit. It still tastes good, just not the same luxurious texture as when it’s first made. Looking forward to trying this one!

  9. My recipe is similar; I add the carrot to the onion mixture for a bit o’ caramelization. AND, I add 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg when adding the broccoli.
    MMMMM.

  10. Yes, please. I’ve been surfing the web looking for a broccoli cheddar soup recipe. I used to make a packaged mix (just add milk and broccoli) all the time when I was in college. And then I grew up and moved on to other things. I’ve been craving it recently. The packaged mix isn’t available anymore (probably for good reason – (trans fats, too much soduim). This looks like just the ticket to cure me. Thanks for reading my mind.

  11. Broccoli cheddar soup has long been a guilty pleasure sort of thing for me. I love it but never think of it outside of the times when I eat it at mediocre restaurants that friends are dying to go to. This sounds like it would hit the spot both with the taste and the desire to not be drowned in dairy.

  12. I was just thinking, uh, broccoli and cheddar, not my thing but the longer I am pondering this idea, maybe exactly my thing! Also, cauliflower – like a liquid cauliflower cheese. Mmm, hello, dinner. Should be a gorgeous vitamin balance to the German apple torte which I am sacrificing myself to eat for pudding…
    Love to the moppet, Nicole

  13. I don’t like cream/cheese soups because they are just way too rich, but I am actually going to try this recipe, after reading that you share my dislike of cheese-sauce-as-soup. :D

  14. I am a huge fan of yours (to the point where some close friends mock me when they ask for a recipe suggestion and I start to say “Smit-“…), but I almost never comment. So first, thank you for being so amazing and so consistent and joyful to read and I hope the adblockers don’t stop your site from ever existing, because I really, really appreciate and admire your commitment to non-sponsored content.

    Anyway, I did a CSA for the first time this year and keeping up with all the veg has been a bit of a challenge (a welcome one to be sure) since I mainly cook for two and of course, I can’t resist supplementing my veggie drawer when I am craving mushrooms or something that isn’t in my share. I am particularly backlogged this week and was scheming up what to make for dinner that would use up some excess, plus be delicious, and as I thought of ideas, I began fearing I was going to have to go to the store for the third time this week to pick up some key missing ingredient to make any recipe I wanted to and then this came up and it is PERFECT. I have all of this stuff and most of it I have too much of and want to get rid of and I am SO FREAKING EXCITED.

    I know that’s a lot of words to say, “thanks! this hit the spot!”, but now you have a better sense of why I shouldn’t comment. :)

  15. I JUST made broccoli cheddar soup for the first time for a Plated recipe yesterday and was like, huh, this is so easy to make, must find better better recipe. Thanks for sharing, will have to give this a try!

  16. where i live we can’t necessarily wait for the right weather for a bowl of soup — or we might never get any! on that note, these ingredients are on my list for the next shopping trip.
    it is true isn’t it ~ a girl can use her heavy cream split with milk to get half and half? (dumb question alert i think …)

  17. I have great plans to try to be a “planning ahead” gal for the bun I have in the oven. We’ll see. This is sure to be on the list of foods to freeze, so comforting! Thanks!

  18. It’s chilly and rainy here in KY today and I was just thinking that I needed to look up some new soup recipes to try out. I think I have almost everything I need for this. Perfect.

  19. Oh my, I do love a good broccoli-cheddar soup; and yours looks fantastic. My local supermarket sells a pretty good refrigerated version in their deli section, but I think I am going to have to make this “from scratch” version. I am also really happy that you used white cheddar cheese and not orange. We aren’t trying out for the circus in our soup bowl, and I want the broccoli to be the dominant ingredient. Thank you again for experimenting for all of us, and for posting this here. Yum!

  20. Pandora Bread makes a soup like this that I have been trying to replicate. I think this might be winner! It’s now on my todo list.

  21. We love broccoli cheddar soup, and I’ve yet to find a recipe that is just right. I believe this may be the one! I can’t wait to try it! And little Anna is most beautiful little girl I think I’ve ever seen next to my daughter, Charlotte. I mean really, she is just precious, Deb!

  22. Funny, I made a recipe similar to this recently that skewed toward broth over cream (because health, natch) but was ultimately disappointing because, ya know, I really just wanted a big bowl of cheese sauce! You’ve never failed me before though so I’m definitely trying this one this week! :)

  23. I love broccoli cheese soup–guilty pleasure–especially if it’s made well. But I wanted to comment on the photo of your baby–so adorable!! OMG, she looks like both of you but that red hair is just so amazingly gorgeous. I’m so happy for you. Congratulations again on your sweet, sweet daughter.

    SJ

  24. Looks wonderful! Is there anything you would recommend for a non-dairy substitute for half and half? I usually use almond milk but feel it would be too wimpy!Thanks!

  25. Oh man I wish it wasn’t a million degrees here! Stupid sunny California! Seriously though this will definitely get made in my kitchen once it cools off (um…February?).

  26. I’ve been wanting to make soup, but it is too warm here still. I must remember this when it gets colder. I bet your “bread without a timetable” will go perfectly with this! (It is my go to bread for serving with soup)

  27. Normally I love you Deb but right now I’m a little embarrassed to be your friend (in my head we are definitely buddies). How can you have never eaten broccoli cheese soup ever until now?! HOW?! How did you get through life without it? Also I’m very glad you’ve discovered it and now never have to go another day without it. :)

  28. If you can get your hands on broccoli leaves…it’s even better. They have SO.MUCH.FLAVOR in them. As a gardener that loves broccoli soup, this was an amazing discovery because the plants put out way more leaves than they do florets. I have been stockpiling leaves cooked in stock in the freezer so that I can make the soup whenever I want this winter. It’s that good.

  29. Oh my word Deb, Anna is a living doll! Seriously one of the prettiest little girls I’ve ever seen, and I have two of my own so I’m not biased or anything. You’re a lucky mom, and she’s lucky to have you, too!!

  30. Both times I’ve tried broccoli cheese soup in restaurants I practically gagged because of the salt content. It was so popular many years ago and I gave it what I thought was a fair trial. I will try your version once it cools down here in the SF bay area. You, at least, made us aware of how salty it could be because of the cheese, so I trust that you have it right.

    Your little Anna is so pretty and looks so dainty in that picture! I love that outfit on her. She does look like a little doll!

  31. I became addicted to broccoli soup AFTER I delivered my tiny moppet. A friend brought over a pot of soup for my family during my recovery. Everyone loved it and I begged her for the recipe. It’s very much like yours and it’s a staple in our family dinner repertoire. I don’t add any salt since I usually use stock made from Better-than-Bullion, which is sufficiently salty.

  32. I love broccoli cheese soup. I have a favorite recipe, but I will try this one because I think it will be a favorite. I worked in a nursing home for many years. They always had a big lunch, and then soup and sandwich for supper. One supper they had was broccoli cheese soup and chicken salad sandwiches. I was appalled at the way they made broccoli cheese soup. They used canned broccoli, heated it, and cut slices of Velvetta and laid on top of the steam trays and let it melt. But it was the best broccoli cheese soup! A friend gave me her recipe before she died and it has been my favorite ever since.

  33. Ok, this sounds like the kind of broccoli cheddar soup that I might actually make. I mean, I like cheese sauce as much as the next person, but I can’t, in good conscience eat it with a spoon.

  34. I’ve been craving broccoli cheddar soup my entire pregnancy too! but my husband doesn’t like it, so I’ve only been eating it from… panera :(
    But maybe I’ll make some, and just point out that he can probably eat and enjoy anything home made by his achey, hormonal 8.5 months pregnant wife!

    Question: will frozen broccoli work? pregnancy has really turned me on to the economy of frozen veggies!

  35. Peeling the stems is important. If you don’t, you can end up with woody splinters in your soup. The one time I tried to make broccoli cheddar soup I didn’t peel the stems, and I regretted it.

  36. @#51 Barbara: Velveeta is really looked down on these days, but to melt in a cream soup or for a grilled cheese sandwich, it is one of the best things to use. America Test Kitchen actually has a recipe for making your own and although I have never tried it, I am tempted! Velveeta has such a nice cheesy flavor and never breaks when it melts. It used to be very reasonable, but like everything else, the price has gone up! It is not cool enough for soup here yet, in CA, but a bowl of soup and a piece of bread “for swiping” is one of my favorite suppers. Thanks, Deb!

  37. I had been planning on making broccoli cheddar soup tonight, but couldn’t settle on a recipe. I figured it was fate when you posted this!
    I did only use about 3 tbsp of butter and 1/4 cup of cream with 1/2 cup of 2% and a little extra broth (because I was saving the cream to make your apple cider caramels!). Still delicious! My 19-month-old is currently slurping the contents from her bowl! Next time, I might try using just 2% and adding a potato for extra creaminess. But this will definitely be my go-to from now on!

  38. I made this tonight for myself and my husband. I love the broccoli cheddar soup at Panera, but this is now by far my favorite! Even my husband said so! Absolutely delicious! Thank you for this awesome recipe! Will be making it again! :)

  39. I ate bowls and bowls of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup when I was pregnant and I don’t think I had ever had it before that! It just never appealed to me. I have been searching for the perfect recipe ever since and this just might do the trick!

  40. How funny, and timely! I’m about 33 weeks pregnant and one of the few foods I’ve actually enjoyed eating through my pregnancy is also broccoli cheese soup! I’ve been sneaking off to Panera to get my fix but feeling a little guilty about it since I know I should be making it myself. This is going to the top of my “to-cook” list. Also, just made your sour cream coffee cake this morning after seeing your post on Instagram a couple weeks ago…oh my god, it is so insanely good, and the baby seems to agree :) Thanks for keeping us both well-fed!

  41. I came here searching for a good soup recipe, but had a healthier, broth-based version in mind. Then I saw this. And then I saw a recipe for Frico Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. So I guess that’s settled…

  42. Just made a double batch this evening–one of the only times I have made something the same day you posted it. :) This was my first attempt at broccoli cheddar from scratch. It was delicious! I didn’t have a bay leaf, but added parsley instead. Thanks for sharing.

  43. I’m so making this tomorrow. As a kid, broccoli cheddar soup was one of my favorites. But I don’t usually love it now. It’s always a bit too much. Too thick, too much cream, too much cheese. But if it’s your recipe, I know it’ll be perfect. Thanks for 1001 delicious surprises. And for sharing pictures of your delicious Anna. She’s stunning. I don’t know how you put her down. I’d get nothing done!

  44. My daughter has a bun in the oven (“finally” says this almost Granny, but I never nagged…) she has had a cheese thing happening also, and did mention Broccoli Cheese soup while scarfing down some Whole Foods Mac&Cheese a month ago. I guess I know what I will be doing… (in huge vats), so that come early March (still soup weather in Albany) she will have a few meals ready to go. If this baby is anything like as cute as yours are I will be happy.That photo of Anna is a killer…what a sweeeeeet face!

  45. This looks absolutely divine. I can’t wait to try it when So. Cal cools down below…oh maybe…Ninety? So over the heat!

    I think this is my first time commenting, so I have to say that I love that your recipes are able to be replicated with wondrous results. I just made a cake from another well known blogger, and it was…meh. I would never make it again, an actually regret even trying it! Your recipes though? They’re on repeat!

  46. What do I have to do to substitute cauliflower? I’ve always been that kid that despised broccoli. I have no idea how many times I’ve made your cauliflower cheese recipe, and it was always fantastic. Thank you!

  47. This looks so good! I love that your version is rich but not overwhelmingly so. I find that some of the broccoli cheddar soups you get at cafes and such are so heavy. This looks like the kind of soup I would want to curl up with on a fall evening <3

  48. Recommendations for a non-dairy version ?
    Has anyone tried this successfully ?
    Or at least no cheese and maybe with regular milk ?

    Thanks for any and all assistance !

  49. This soup is a classic. I’ve made Mark Bittmans many times before, but was never quite satisfied with the texture of the “broth”. I do a roux like all others, but always find the feel of the finished soup, well, almost grainy. Like I can discern the flour or something. Any thoughts on how to get that Campbell’s-esque silkyness?

  50. Somewhere i learned to add Tarragon to broccoli soup, the more the merrier. It makes it so rich, you MIGHT not need the cheese or cream.

    I do a non-dairy version using Swanson’s non-fat chicken broth, more broccoli and a peeled cubed potato.

    Babies and kids are cute, but yours are way beyond! The dimples and hair are killer, just for starters. I’ll bet you get stopped on the street so people can tell you how beautiful they are.

  51. Deb, now understand that this is coming from a gal who doesn’t like super-creamy things and therefore doesn’t actually like most cream soups, but when I make broccoli cheese soup (I mean it’s a great combination, right?), I make avgolomeno but go light on the lemon and add tons of broccoli and moderate amounts of cheese. In other words, I make an onion and rice in chicken broth base and then half-puree in the headline ingredients. Creamy but no cream, and the rice helps to keep the cheddar from separating, too. If this bizarre urge ever comes across you again, I urge you to try it this way!

  52. This makes me think of a really good broccoli soup recipe I have from a cookbook called the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook, from the owners of the Rebar restaurant in Victoria BC. It’s doesn’t involve cheddar, but it’s a rare flavour-packed broccoli soup recipe. This cookbook was a go-to for me for many years and is pretty well-known in Canada for vegetarians. When you get the chance, take a look!

  53. My taste has apparently changed, and our standby broccoli cheese soup disgusted me when I made it last month. I am very happy to have this to try!

  54. I second the tarragon addition–but with the cream and cheese for me!;) I used to make it just as you do (minus the bay leaf) and could never get it to taste like Panera’s until I saw that Ashley (Not Without Salt) had tarragon in hers–that was exactly what it needed to take it to the next level–try it next time! (And I’m going to try a bay leaf next time…)

  55. This looks and sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing Im planning ahead and making this next week! I love the fact that this freezes well.

  56. I can’t wait to try this! Broccoli Cheddar Soup is one of my favorites and I have long been searching for the perfect recipe. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  57. Same question here – can this soup be freezer successfully without the texture changing? I also thought it was difficult to freeze cream soups.

  58. I also craved broccoli cheese soup when I was pregnant and it is still my daughter’s favorite soup to this day (she’s 26 now)…. Will definitely be trying this!!!

  59. This will sound weird, but a couple years ago I made some broccoli cheddar soup and, on a whim, the in a few ounces of smoked salmon I had lying around. It pureed right in and tasted *amazing*. I do it every time now.

  60. Deb! Love, love, LOVE everything here- your site, your style, this recipe. I once had a broccoli, cheddar soup THING and so attempted my own recipe ONCE. It was just awful and it turned me off to the whole idea of this soup. Ahhhh, but with this recipe, I think the breakup is over. Thank you!!

    I’m experiencing a similar feeling to your site as I have felt about moving to Colorado. Why didn’t I arrive sooner?!?! I’m a Native New Yorker and while there is no place like HOME, Colorado is amazing. Better late than never. Your work is simply AWESOME. sheila

  61. Love your recipes! I think you are amazing.
    I made the bread-(half the recipe in the bread maker) and it came out great!
    I look forward to your e-mails, thank you!

  62. This recipe looks great – I make my recipe with no roux, and it ends up being easier to control the richness. I saute the onion/garlic/carrot in a little olive oil, add broth and broccoli, then blend the mixture. That way, I can add cream until it’s just just right, which can vary from season to season… and the volume of broccoli/veg (relative to broth) is what thickens the soup, not a roux. Cheese whirled in at the end, off the heat. Served with little toasts and maybe a sprinkle of bacon bits on top :)

  63. Made a double recipe of this last night–four out of five thought it was delicious, one thought it was “sooooo horrible I’m going to throw up, Mama.” (said in the most tragic and tearful way possible) She didn’t.
    I’m declaring it a winner. Thanks for another fantastic recipe!

  64. Freezing the soup — Yes, the texture was a little less smooth once defrosted, but the taste was perfect.

    Erika — I haven’t seen Bittman’s recipe but it helps to use cream or at least a full-fat milk and to avoid acidic ingredients.

    Helen — No reason you cannot use it instead. Go for the same volume, 4 cups, when chopped small.

    Sarah Beth — Frozen broccoli, absolutely.

    Using whole milk for half and half — Yes, but I think it will be less rich. Do keep in mind that I already lowered the cream amount about as far I felt I could while still keeping the soup creamy; it won’t taste bad with less, but it might not ring out as a creamy, cheesy soup.

    Broccoli and stilton — YES. I had completely forgotten how wonderful this was when I was in the UK until yesterday, when going to delete this (now done) recipe off my To Cook list and found a note for Broccoli and Stilton soup instead. :)

    Karol — I did not. They started us out with champagne because: anniversary and then it was wine and I don’t remember much after that. Heh.

    SandyKay — It’s about 1 cup onion. The base of the soup is a roux, adding the liquid makes it something like a veloute, gives it body. The cream is part of this base/body, not just a finish.

    Molly — Yes, it was you! I went as far as to guess it was you but no amount of search terms led me to the comment. Thanks. I mean, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.

  65. Great soup, but I did feel compelled to add one tablespoon of Better Than Bullion (for a little more flavor) with a cup of water, to initially simmer the broccoli, then added the milk (less one cup) and half n half. . I used both Monterrey Jack and sharp Cheddar cheese and a big dash of Mrs. Dash lemon pepper. I also like the roasted portion of the broccoli

  66. This is, without question, the best soup of its kind! I had given up on all broccoli cheddar and/or cream of broccoli soups for being either too cheesey, too floury or too potatoey. This is the perfect soup for this here broccoli-lover…thanks for bringing me back to the fold! And for those interested, the very small amount of flour in the recipe makes it very easy to sub gluten free flour with no discernible change to the finished product. Those of us who are GF are seldom able to eat creamy soups, so this is a huge bonus! Thank you for another fantastic recipe. [I’ve yet to make anything from smitten kitchen that wasn’t a complete and utter hit.]

  67. Had a “rainy day” here yesterday. (Being a Californian I am willing to expand the definition wider than most. We had enough moisture fall from the sky that the sidewalks smelled wet. Therefore, rainy day.) I also had broccoli that needed to be dealt with. My boyfriend, who is not a fan of cooked broccoli, liked this enough that he wouldn’t mind if I made it again. :) Thank you!

  68. I too was just thinking about a broccoli cheddar soup for next week after my market trip. I usually do a recipe with potato and sometimes milk, from an old milk calendar I think. It has been so many years since I originally used the recipe and I have adapted it since. I like to add some mustard seeds, thyme, and nutmeg. Perhaps I will try a version with a bit of cream and flour.

  69. This is the kind of thing that makes me crazy! It’s bad enough that creamy leek and potato soup is calling my name and the ever wonderful cream of butternut squash, but now this! Did my comment make you want leek soup? with cream? I hope so!!!

  70. Broc cheese always reminds me of our many family trips to Baker’s Square before my mom discovered the food network! So glad it hasn’t lost any popularity over the years, and you reminded me that I should probably whip up a quart or two for the, um, freezer.

  71. Love broccoli cheese soup! But had somehow forgotten about it lately. I’m expecting right now too and have spent the last month craving broccoli & grilled cheese. Maybe this soup is a way to get my broccoli cheese fix and still please my family, who are a bit tired of the same old thing. May I humbly suggest replacing up to 1/4 of the broth with beer? It gives a whole new depth of flavor.

  72. Made it last night, ate it tonight. It tastes SO GOOD! My husband and I had seconds, and, with some rosemary/olive oil bread, was a perfect dinner on a suddenly cool night. I’m going to try it with cauliflower this weekend since I have a giant head of it in the bin. Mmmm. Can’t wait.

  73. Yum!! Made it for dinner tonight and ate two bowls. Simple and fairly quick, and will definitely make it into the soup rotation. I used Swanson organic veggie broth, didn’t add salt or pepper (it didn’t need any to me), Kraft shredded sharp cheddar, and omitted the carrots because those are a four letter word in my house. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  74. Looks delicious! Quick question, though – what’s half n half? I’ve never seen it in Aussie before. What would be an alternative? Thanks!

  75. I’ve been looking for a freezable Brocc soup. And thank you for finding one. I am also going to try to roast my brocc a little ahead of time to get a little more brown flavor. Thank you so much for posting this. I am so looking forward to making it.

  76. I recently came across a recipe for “cauli-cream” to use as a subsitute for cream. Essentially pureeing boiled cauliflower (3# cauliflower, 10c water, a little lemon juice and salt). I used it as a base for corn chowder and think it could be a nice swap for the half and half and broth in this soup, too. This isn’t really an attempt to veganize this soup, just an idea to lighten while still indulging in all of the cheesy goodness!

  77. Just made this. I love broccoli cheddar soup, and this is easily the best I’ve had. Thanks! One question: Do you think it’s worth trying to sub 1/2 c. half-and-half and 1/2 c. milk, or would that be too thin? I ask because I immediately know I’ll want to make this all the time, and I might feel a teensy bit better about that choice if there were less cream… but maybe that’s just against the broccoli cheddar soup rules.

  78. Esther — It will probably be fine, however, I did reduce the cream about as far as I felt it could go while still tasting creamy and feeling a bit rich.

  79. I made this last night and Dad (94) and I loved it. He would eat soup every day, even when it’s in the 100s. It’s finally cool enough here on California’s central coast for soup and I’ve made soup twice this week. I’d forgotten about this soup, which was a staple at some now defunct chain here in CA. Yours is infinitely better. Of course.

  80. A pinch of smoked paprika and either chipotle or cayenne powder in this is delicious! The original is too, just a tip :)

  81. This is cooking on the stove now. Read the recipe a day or so ago and then saw the biggest, most gorgeous broccoli heads at the farmer market. This is not a typo. Farmer market. One farmer within Labrador. Okay, sometimes two but only if she isn’t cranky. I made it with some (cup?) of whipping cream and the rest full milk. More onions, more garlic and prob more broccoli. No way they’ll have arf n’arf at the Co-Op. They rarely have whipping cream. They rarely have whipping cream. I had to write that twice. We didn’t even try because sometimes I’m just not in the mood to be disappointed. I love Labrador mostly but it is very taxing to love eating and cooking here. Ah well -it was a helluva lovely broccoli. And I have half of it left over as it was huge. Jim, the farmer, tried to give it to me cheaper but no way would I let him. He said the moose would have everything trampled soon enough. They don’t eat the produce, just walk on it. Love you, southern girl!

  82. I made this for dinner last night and it was perfect! This morning I am making a frittata from your cookbook, so thank you for keeping my household fed!

  83. This was really really good. I probably added more cheese than the recipe called for (which made it even more decadent). Perfect for a chilly autumn night. Thank you!

  84. I make broccoli cheese soup all the time! We love it, and it is so satisfying when it is cold out. Also, it takes no time at all, really, which is a week-night win. If you don’t have fresh broccoli, a bag of frozen works just fine also.

    The only thing I do differently is adding the carrot and broccoli at the beginning in the butter. I don’t know exactly why I do that, except that I’m trained to brown all vegetables slightly first – I think it adds flavor. I also add a small amount of celery, because I can’t seem to soup without just a smidge of that either.

    This is also one of those things you can do with odds and ends of cheese in the fridge. Just chuck them all in there: they add depth of flavor, but really sharp cheddar will cover up any questionable choices.

  85. It does become an obsession or at the least a constant craving. The recipe you put together and how is exactly how I came on mine which is exactly the same except I never added a Bay leaf. Yesterday though I did add sliced Baby Bellas (about 6-8 in with the onion and carrot saute. Hubby loved it. I also sometimes add chicken for an even heartier meal. Soup is simply good food :) I love your food blog.

  86. This was so good I wanted to swim in it. I didn’t bother peeling the stems, and it still cooked together perfectly. Thanks for a great recipe!

  87. Made this over the rainy weekend and it was so delicious. I got a little over zealous with my immersion blender so it was smoother than I wanted but still yummy. I thought it tasted even better on day 2.

  88. I love it when you re-tool a “tired but goodie” like broccoli cheddar soup. It got to the point where everyone kept making it thicker, saltier, cheesier that it kind of lost any sense if balance. I love broccoli cheddar soup but I rarely order it out for fear of what I’ll get. I made this for dinner tonight. It brought back everything that was good about this soup. Dare I even mention that it’s quick easy and has fantastic results. Thank you. I put up both lunch and dinner sized bowls for leftovers. Just in time for chilly weather

  89. This was bowl-licking delicious. I fully intended to keep some for lunch leftovers, but we ended up finishing it off for dinner. Next time I’ll double it up so we don’t eat it all in one meal!

  90. I made this soup over the weekend and it was everything I ever wanted in a broccoli cheddar soup! My husband picked out a British white cheddar cheese and I have to say, the soup was just tasting “fine” until adding the cheese at the end, and then it zoomed up to “spectacular”! I’ll be making more and freezing it for the dreary winter days. Thank you!

  91. I made this last night! Absolutely delicious. Not too rich or heavy, but every bit as wonderful as broccoli cheddar soup can be.

  92. I’d hate to think I’m becoming a total bore, but what about cooking a potato and mashing it up to thicken and creamify the coup with less half and half??

  93. I’m loving all of these freezer meals. Are these the same kinds of meals you would want someone to bring you? Every couple of months we take meals to new moms in our parish and I’m never sure what to bring, so I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.

  94. I made this last night. I was short on time and patience, and shortened all the cooking times, used sub-par broth (poached a couple of breasts and saved the water), a leek and 1/4 onion, and it was still fantastic. I love recipes that are flexible enough for weeknight chaos, and I can’t wait to see how delicious this is when I actually do it right!

  95. Fantastic! Made with all half and half and used frozen organic broccoli from Costco (just threw in a 1lb bag out of the larger package…how easy). Served with the Whole Wheat Oat Bread that you recently posted.

  96. Made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit. The four-year-old ate three bowls, the baby ate about one bowl before demanding to feed herself, and even my broccoli-hating husband managed to eat an entire ladleful. (Progress!) Can’t wait to have it again for lunch tomorrow.

  97. This is so good! I love broccoli cheddar soup. I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe and I finally think I’ve found it. Thanks for fulfilling my broccoli cheddar soup fantasies!

  98. Made this last night and LOVED it! I added fresh tarragon as some commenters had recommended (thanks Bahb and Annalisa!) and also a cubed and boiled potato at the end, so it was a full-on veggie chowder :) Froze half and will be enjoying the rest all weekend. I love how filling but not cloyingly creamy it is. Thanks as always!

  99. Made this and I’m already craving it again. Husband said it was phenomenal. I used 1/2 cup cream and a block of raw cheddar cheese. Next time I will wisely double the recipe. So good!

  100. This is SO good. Thank you for not corrupting it with red pepper as some do. I was even dubious of the carrot but it works and adds nice flecks of orange. I followed the recipe except I had slightly less than 8 oz of cheese due to toddler snacking, and I just ran out of cream so used whole milk. I like my broccoli soup on the thicker side so think next time I would add one or two cubed potatoes with the other vegetable but this is the base I would start with for sure.

  101. Hi Deb,

    Love all your Staub cookware in these recent posts! Do you ACTUALLY wash them in the dishwasher? I know their cast iron is renowned for needing no seasoning and being dishwasher-safe, but I wonder if people actually use it that way. I would be terrified of ruining it, but at the same time, I’m all about cookware that doesn’t need to be babied. Trying to figure out whether to pull the trigger on some Staub of my own!

    1. Kristi — I’m soo busted for my Staub habit. I swear, I limit my purchases to maybe one a year! I had had Staubs for 8 or so years before I read that they were dishwasher-safe. I then spent a year being too nervous to put them in. Now I do it fairly regularly. For a big pot, it’s always more practical to just hand-wash it, but they really do come out perfectly well. They’re enameled; there’s no metal exposed that would corrode in the dishwasher.

  102. This was so, so good and exactly how you described – more green than white with the perfect amount of creaminess. We enjoyed it and didn’t feel too guilty about it. Perfect for a cold fall weekend.

  103. Made this the other day in a big batch for the week. I’m a college student and I love love love this website. The soup was delicious and super easy to heat up for quick veggie-filled meals. Thanks for a great recipe, I’ll be making this again!

  104. Made this on the weekend and my kindergartner and I both gobbled it up, it was so good, plus I had leftovers to freeze for another day! Thanks for posting so many great recipes, Deb, you inspire me!

  105. Made this today and followed commenters suggestion to add tarragon, and it was utterly delish. About X-times better than the usual gluey stuff you get in restaurants. Now I’m wondering about using Brussels sprouts for the veg… their slight bitter edge might go well with the cheese richness?

  106. Made this today. Really like the thickness. It is not too rich or too overwhelmingly cheesy.

    My soup was a little lacking in flavor (I did not have bay left on hand) but I would defiantly make it again.

  107. so good! just made this yesterday, as Texas is finally starting to feel fallish. Didn’t add the cheddar, it is rich enough without! thanks for a great go to recipe. I served the soup with cheesy garlic bread, and it was wonderful!

  108. Oh.Mah.GAWD!!
    Finally bought a ton of fresh broccoli from the farmer’s market this weekend, so I HAD to make this. I could eat this forever… and ever… and EVER.
    And I decided to go with fat-free half and half because I can’t have all of that fat, especially with the cheese. I never go wrong with ANY of your recipes, but this really hit the spot for some reason… THANK YOU!!!

  109. I made this soup last weekend and it is delicious!! Perfect combo of thickness and richness. Had ours with Parmesan garlic bread, it was the perfect comforting meal for a chilly night. I managed to freeze a few bowls for weeknight meals later on.Thank you!

  110. Made this yesterday, yum!

    My version was vegetarian since I used my Cook’s Illustrated frozen bouillon, which is my go-to broth these days (and has made every soup delicious…).

    I forgot the cream or milk at the end, it was still amazing. We’re a low cream family.

    I will say that I can’t digest a lot of milk too well, and this was a little hard on my stomach. Next time I might try starting with olive oil rather than butter and decreasing the amount of cheese. Not sure at what point the soup loses the creaminess it needs.

    In the meantime, we get to have the leftovers tonight…

  111. We loved this soup for dinner this evening. Grated cheese on the side for each to add as desired. I found it delicious without any sharp cheddar. Simple and splendid.

  112. Oh Deb, this soup is divine! I made this soup last night, with an addition of a potato (though next time I may have to add slightly more liquid since the potato definitely thickened it right up), and a bit of cayenne pepper, and I had to control myself as I was tasting it before adding the cheese, it was so good! I also used half smoked English cheddar and half sharp for an extra kick, yum yum yum!

    My friend who says she despises soups as she feels it’s bland and boring, even gobbled up TWO HEAPING BOWLS of this stuff!

  113. Thank you, Deb, for another great soup recipe! I made this soup a few days ago, and it was delicious! It was rich and creamy without being too heavy. You rock!

  114. Oh this was good. This was so good. Simple and incredibly tasty. I added a little dash of smoked paprika for a touch of heat. Mmmmm.

  115. Tip for those asking about freezing, since the thawed texture isn’t great: freeze half the soup *before* adding the cheese. When you thaw and heat the second half of the soup, add the cheese at the end as you did with the first half — then it’ll have the same perfect texture.

  116. I wonder if anyone has some input on cheese curdling…? I made this about an hour or so before I would be serving it. I only have one pot and would be needing it to make another soup. So, while the broccoli cooked, I heated up my crockpot. After a bit of pureeing, I dumped the soup into the crock, then added the cheese. At that point, I should have set the soup to “Keep Warm”. but accidentally set it to “Low Heat”. When I returned some time later, it was bubbling with heat. The cheese had also curdled, for lack of a better term. Basically looked like adding bad cream to your coffee. The flavor was still great, so I’m wondering if this texture was similar to what some of you said would be the result of freezing/thawing. Was it just due to the excessive heat? Or could it have been the cheddar itself? I used sharp white, hand grated. Any thoughts for the future? Thanks!!

  117. Made this soup this past weekend. I was happy it came together pretty easily and quickly. We served it with plain biscuits for a light lunch and my family loved it. Will make again for sure :D

  118. I made this soup with 1% milk instead of the half n half (too lazy to run to the store) and I also cut out half the butter (in an attempt to make up for all the toffee and caramels I’ve eaten this week)–it turned out great. Looking forward to making it again with half n half.

  119. I made this soup last night! It was fantastic. Followed the recipe except I added a second carrot (love them) it was hard for me to peel the stems of the broccoli so i only got two stalks of broccoli in there. I may do 6 cups of broccoli instead of 4 – just because I like my broccoli soup with lots of broccoli! But overall – this was a tasty soup and perfect!

  120. This makes me laugh because when I was pregnant with my daughter I had a huge craving for broccoli cheddar soup – something I’d never even tasted before! And I wasn’t even really a fan of broccoli! I made it ALL THE TIME and it was somehow the perfect thing. Along with watermelon and chicken nuggets… Recently I wanted to make some (nope, I’m not pregnant this time around ;-) and I’m going to try your recipe!

  121. This soup is AMAZING! My husband and I made it tonight and didn’t change a thing. Thank you! I can’t wait to make it for my book club girls! :)

  122. I can’t understand why some people hate broccoli? It is very tasty and healthy. I love it, and will definitely try this recipe.

  123. Had some garlic and herb goat cheese in the fridge that needed to be used up, so I put that instead of cheddar – turned out amazing!

  124. I made this tonight. It was lovely, I ate two enormous bowls! I left out the garlic and used semi-skimmed milk (no cream). It was still creamy. I used mature English cheddar. When reheating creamy foods I add a bit of milk and reheat slowly.

  125. My roommate was trying to give up cheese, so I made her a bowl without cheese and then added it in for myself. I was surprised to find that I actually really liked her soup; although the cheese was definitely good, I found that it didn’t add very much – definitely going to make it without cheese in the future for plain broccoli soup (but it’s so good!)

  126. YUM! Delicious recipe with lots of broccoli. I hadn’t ever made broccoli cheese soup before but I’ll definitely be making it again.

  127. Deb, Just made this soup, almost verbatim except I used a very strong white Gouda from Grocery Outlet. ( they have a lot of very cheap, inexpensive, often imported cheese)I used whole milk, that’s what I had. It turned out delicious. I lost my older sister suddenly just before Christmas and cooking is helping me move through the grief. We all love to cook in my family and my sissy was great at it. She loved cheese and although, not herself vegetarian she was very skilled at cooking veg recipes. It’s rainy here in SF today, so the perfect recipe. I’m working my way through your lovely blog. Thank you for all the inspiration.

  128. Deb, what do you think about using whole wheat flour instead of regular flour? Do you think it would change the consistency or taste too much? I’m concerned about buying a whole big bunch of white flour when I don’t use it much. (I’m not much of a baker but if I were… I’d like to think I would use whole wheat flower… because it’s… healthier? haha… Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes by the way… you rock!!

  129. Yet another great hit! Made it this weekend and served it in home made bread bowls to a girl who said she doesn’t like cheese and she loved it (-: Thanks!

  130. Had this tonight with delicious seedy bread on the side… my husband made it and he did 75% half and half, 25% 2% milk… it was SO delicious! I put the remaining soup in a tupperware and then took the pan, another slice of bread, and sat on the couch with the pot in my lap and slopped up the remnants that were in the bottom of the pan.

  131. omg this was so good. My 8 month old had it as her first broccoli. The whole family was very happy! New soup in the rotation!