Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Sometimes, there are just days I can't decide for the life of me what to make for dinner. These days typically involve a phone call to the hubby asking if he has any ideas. More often than not, he doesn't, but occasionally, he'll throw an idea or two out there that at least gives me a place to start.

Such was the case with this meal. He suggested soup (and something else I can't remember, I'm such a good listener). I had zero desire to go to the store to pick up a few odds and ends, which unfortunately left me little to work with. I had plenty of chicken broth, but hardly any veggies. I didn't have sufficient pasta, nor the desire to spend a ton of time on prep work. Gah. Maybe soup wasn't the greatest idea. Until I remembered I had a huge hunk of sharp American left over from my Cheesy Corn Bake. A little more rummaging scared up some Velveeta. So something cheesy.

I haven't had Broccoli Cheese soup in what seems like forever. It used to be my go-to soup every time I went to Panera, or any other type of deli-ish place and was craving soup. Then I burned out on the filling, cheesy soup. After years of a self-imposed hiatus from the soup, I decided it was time to give it another chance. At the very least, we'd have dinner without a trip to the store.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Adapted from:

6 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 (16 ounce) packages frozen broccoli cuts
4 cups reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
8 ounces sharp American cheese, cubed
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 cups milk
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
2/3 cup cornstarch

In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add broccoli and chicken broth, simmering until broccoli is tender, 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in cheeses. Continue stirring until all the cheese is fully melted. Using an immersion blender (or carefully transferring soup to a blender in batches), puree soup to desired consistency.

Meanwhile, fill a liquid measuring cup with milk. Whisk in cornstarch and garlic powder until no lumps remain. Heat milk mixture in microwave 30 seconds, or until lukewarm. Pour mixture into soup, stirring, until thick.

Serves: 12

This is definitely not your light and dainty soup -- no, this is your hearty, fill-you-up, keeps-you-full-for-hours soup. I'm not a huge fan of overly chunky Broccoli Cheese soup, so I opted to puree mine down (not complete smooth, but almost), although you certainly don't have to if broccoli chunks float your boat. This soup also comes out very thick, just the way I like. Once again, if you like yours more on the thin side, simply add less cornstarch.

While Broccoli Cheese soup still isn't something I'm going to be craving all the time, at least now I have a recipe for when I do!

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 248Calories from fat 141
% Daily Value
Total Fat 15.7g24%
Saturated Fat 9.7g54%
Cholesterol 49mg16%
Sodium 623mg26%
Total Carbs 17.1g6%
Dietary Fiber 1.7g7%
Sugars 6.5g
Protein 10.4g
Vitamin A 19%Vitamin C 86%
Calcium 28%Iron 4%


  1. This is my FAVORITE kind of soup and I love your version! :)

  2. I love broccoli cheddar soup. I've been looking for a good recipe. Yours definitely fits the bill. Thanks! By the way, I have the same problem deciding what's for dinner too.

  3. I love it! That's how most of our dinners begin, because I am almost always too lazy to run out to the store, work with what you got! This sounds delicious!

  4. Broccoli cheese soup is my favorite soup at Panera and I have yet to make it on my own. This looks like a good recipe to start with!

  5. THis is my favorite Panera soup too! Yours looks delicious and so creamy!

  6. I am making this EXACT same recipe for Mother's Day! lol I am taking part in a Mother's Day brunch and one of the other hostesses asked if I can make this soup and she handed me this recipe from I'm so thankful to see this post becuase it gives me the confidence that I don't need to do a trial run of it this week. :)

  7. @Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} Glad to be of help! :) I think you might be able to get away with adding some more cheese in if you are really going for a super cheesy version. Hope it works out for you!

  8. I always have a hard time getting the hubby to give me ideas, too. But I think he would definitely love this one!

  9. I swear, at my old law firm, I used to go to Panera for lunch at least 2-3 times a week. I ate their cheese soup in a bread bowl most of those times. I don't think I've gone there since I left that firm. I got a random craving for it the other day - this recipe looks great!



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