Creamy Broccoli and Cheese Soup that’s quick, easy, and entirely from scratch! This homemade Panera Bread copycat is filling and flavorful and is always met with a request for seconds (and thirds!) by my family and friends.
Last week I threatened promised that I’d share one last soup recipe from my soup-a-palooza recipe testing. You can pretend to be surprised, but I’m banking a few of you stopped by today for that very thing. The rest of you took off running.
Come back I love you!!!!
Since downing a big bowl of the stuff at Panera last week, I haven’t been able to get broccoli and cheese soup off my mind.
It also happens to be one of Paul’s favorites and has been requested non-stop since the temperature began to drop outside. I did a quick google perusal of homemade broccoli cheddar soup recipes and almost fell over.
Oodles and oodles of additive-rich canned cheddar soup, cream of broccoli soup, and an ever-present smorgasbord of velveeta “cheese product.” Oh the franken-foods! I nearly slid off my chair when the faux-cheesiest of them all had bajillions of 5 star reviews.
Come on kids! We’re better than that!
Sketch-Free Broccoli and Cheese Soup
This creamy Broccoli and Cheese Soup is quick, easy, and made entirely from scratch!
An easy peasy homemade Panera Bread copycat, its filling and flavorful and is always met with a request for seconds (and thirds!) by my family and friends. It’s music to my ears!
I tested this soup 5 times. Five. And then made it a few dozen times more for good measure. This one was the BEST!
Thick, creamy, cheesy, broccoli-y (pretend that’s a proper adjective!) and positively swoon-worthy. Not to throw my own confetti or anything. Hah!
This soup is quick and easy (30 minutes or so and it’s good to go!) but I included uber-detailed instructions to help you out in the kitchen. Hopefully you don’t mind!
Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Pinned over 800,000 times and rocking over 100 rave reviews, this soup is a total crowd-favorite!
Broccoli and Cheese Soup
- one bunch of fresh broccoli (enough for a few cups of chopped tops)
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- ½ cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese plus extra for topping
- 1 cup freshly grated gouda cheese (not smoked)
- 1 cup shredded carrots or extra, to taste
- 1 small white onion (about 2/3 cup or 1 cup chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream) room temperature
- 3 TBSP all purpose flour
- 3 TBSP butter
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp dried basil
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- ⅛ tsp salt (will vary based on salt content of your stock/broth)
- a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper to taste
- First ze veggies: Chop em! Dice the onions super small, mince the garlic, an shred the carrots if you didn’t buy pre-shredded. This can all be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge for later. For the broccoli, chop 2/3 of it into tiny florets [just cut off as much stem as you can and it’ll fall apart in the pot] and then take the remaining 1/3 and give it a rough chop so you have a few large pieces to add to the soup. Totally optional!
- Add your veggie broth to a pot on medium-high heat, add your 2/3 of your broccoli [about 2 cups of florets] as well as your onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaf. Simmer on medium, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
- Once the broth is done, start your roux: In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter on medium heat, whisking constantly. Once melted, slowly add 3 tablespoons of flour as you continue to whisk.
- For a thicker soup, use an extra tablespoon of each. I skipped it. Remove from heat and slowly pour in the broth from your veggie mixture [its okay if some of the veggies jump in along side it!] and stir to incorporate.
- Next pour in the veggies and slowly stir in 1 cup of room temperature half and half.
- Return to the burner on very low heat, uncovered.
- Spoon out the bay leaf and season with the above herbs and spices, adding a little extra of whichever you like to taste. I personally adore the pinch of nutmeg in this soup but feel free to leave it out if it’s just not your cup of tea! The soup is great both ways! Depending on the saltiness of your broth, you might skip the salt entirely or prefer to add a bit more. Taste and tweak as needed after adding your cheese.
- Oh yes: the cheese! Once the soup has warmed back up, stir in the grated cheeses [slowly and in small batches] and remove from heat immediately. I won’t tell if you sneak extra cheese in your soup =)
- That extra broccoli you left on the side? Blanch in boiling water, steam in your microwave, or basically cook it however you’d like, then stir that green goodness into your completed soup for great texture and an extra burst of broccoli.
- Garnish with a little extra grated cheddar and a sprinkle of parsley and even a pinch of spicy red pepper flakes if you’d like! Anything goes!
Feeling fancy? garnish with red pepper flakes, parsley, and extra sharp cheddar.
Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup
To make this soup gluten-free you can use pureed potato to thicken the soup without using a flour-based roux or use sweet rice flour in place of all purpose flour.
I’ve also used an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in place of the conventional flour in the recipe with great results!
Soup-er Tips and Tricks
Cheese-based soups and sauces are a bit tricky, since cheese has a borderline multiple personality.
It starts out solid, begins to melt, then thickens, then (if the temperature is too high) jumps right back into solid territory by curdling.
Best way to avoid that last little quirk? Use full fat dairy products for your cream base (they stand up to heat much better than lowfat dairy), add your dairy products towards the end of the cooking process on a lower heat setting, and also combine sharp cheeses with creamy ones, for better melting and texture.
For this recipe, I chose higher quality, full-fat cheeses to ensure maximum flavor and melting. The result? Pure creamy deliciousness!
You’ll wind up with two BIG bowls of the stuff or four appetizer-sized portions to pair with sandwiches or salads.
Ooh! It also reheats like. a. champ.
I often have my lunches solo so I’ll have a bowl the first day and then reheat a leftover bowl of broccoli cheese goodness the next day to scarf at my desk while working. Love it so!
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup Instructions:
This sassy soup cooks up AMAZINGLY in the pressure cooker! It’s wicked fast too! Prep and measure your ingredients first.
WITH ROUX: Set an electric instant pot to sauté function and make your roux. Next add broth, carrots, onion, garlic, broccoli, and seasoning as written in above recipe. Hit cancel/off to turn off your sauté function, then set IP to HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Once it beeps, quick release the valve at the top of the pressure cooker. Add your half and half and freshly grated cheeses and stir until the cheese has melted into the soup. Enjoy!
WITHOUT ROUX: You can also choose to skip the flour for a thinner but equally tasty broccoli and cheese soup that’s gloriously gluten-free. If skipping this step, quickly sauté your onion and garlic in the butter. Turn off sauté setting and add broth, carrots, broccoli, and seasoning as written in above recipe. Hit cancel/off to turn off your sauté function, then set IP to HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Once it beeps, quick release the valve at the top of the pressure cooker. Add your half and half and freshly grated cheeses and stir until the cheese has melted into the soup. Enjoy!
so… how was it?
Comfort in a bowl! I’m hopelessly in love with this broccoli and cheese soup!
Need to round this baby out into a full meal? Add a piping hot veggie and cheese panini, grilled cheese, or even serve up the soup in a bread bowl. A cold chickpea salad sandwich would also be a rockin’accompaniment.
You could also serve this easy cheesy soup alongside a simple leafy green side salad if you’d like.
Am I allowed to swoon now? I’m swooning. Considering this soup has over 870k pins on Pinterest currently, I think it’s safe to say you’re swooning too.
Hope you adore this bowl of yum as much as we do!
I have made this soup so many times. Today I used pumpkin spice Gouda cheese. OMG! It came out delicious! I can’t wait to try it with the spinach artichoke Gouda cheese!
OMG I didn’t know pumpkin spice gouda exists but now I have to track it down! Sounds glorious! What brand are these cheeses?
This is very good. I loved all the vegetables and spices. I haven’t made broccoli cheese soup in 52 years and had a certain taste in my head. This wasn’t it and at this late date I don’t think
I’ll find it, but everyone loved it, even the person who doesn’t like creamy cheesy soup! I enjoyed making it, too!
This was so delicious. I probably added more broccoli and carrots and more broth. I will be making this again. Just wish I’d had people over to enjoy this with us. Next time I will invite some.
Loved this soup!! So comforting on a snowy day. Served it with sourdough bread some extra cheese and some hot pepper flakes
This recipe is SO SO good! I followed the recipe exactly. Will be making this again!!
Woot! Thank you Sarah!
I’ve made this one hundred times! It’s better than the original!
I made this soup yesterday. It was delicious. Love the Cheddar and Gouda cheese combination.
Yay!!! Thanks Margarita!
I made a double batch of this today, and it was the bomb! I sauteed the garlic, onion and carrots before adding them, used garlic paste in place of garlic powder, and added extra cayenne and black pepper! Deeeelish!
Yesssss! Extra cayenne is always a must for me too! I’m glad you loved the recipe Karen, thanks!
I have been making this recipe for a couple of years now, and I triple it every time I make it. It is way better than Panera, which has changed it’s recipe and tastes like fake cheese. Yuck! I can’t even eat theirs now because this one is so much better. I’m making it tonight for the first time this fall, and I can’t wait!
Best broccoli and cheddar ever! We double the recipe for our family of five and use mozzarella instead of gouda. Love and recommend to everyone!!
WOOT! So glad you’ve been loving the recipe Kellie! xoxo
This was delicious!! Didn’t change a thing. Thanks so much!
Panera has never been a go-to for me so I have to admit, I’ve never had it from there. Hubby absolutely loves it from there so knew I had to try it and he said side by side you’d never know the difference! I did leave out the ‘warm’ spices based on blog comments and reviews though. Initially I thought I’d have to use an immersion blender to get the consistency but nope it all blended down on its own. This is definitely a keeper!
This has been my go-to Broccoli and Cheese soup recipe for a couple of years now and tonight I decided to make it in the Instant Pot. Game. Changer. So quick and easy and still as delicious as the stovetop method. Ultimate comfort food in minutes! Run, don’t walk to the kitchen and make this soup now!
Jenn, thank you very much! I like this soup! Wonderful combination of ingredients.
Thank you Olga!
My favorite. Really easy to make and so tasty.
I made this today and it’s sooo yummy. I threw all my veggies in the pot to cook then scooped out roughly half and ran my emersion blender through the rest and added the cooked veggies back in at the end. I also accidentally added smoked paprika thinking it was my cayenne and thank god it still tasted great! (Added the cayenne as well once I realized what I’d done.)
Can this be made in advance (like, the day before) and then reheated?
Also, this recipe makes two servings, but I was hoping to make enough for 10-12 people. Do I multiply the ingredients by 5?
It sounds amazing! I really don’t want to screw this up, lol.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Absolutely Marryanne! It reheats like a dream. I haven’t made such a large batch before but with a big pot or dutch oven you should be good to go! Simply multiply the ingredients and adjust the cook times as needed so the veggies are nice and tender. xoxo
Winner! This was yummy. We’ve tried several rounds of broccoli cheddar and this one got it right! This is the first we have made where we 1) are saving the (tiny bit) leftovers and 2) plan to make it again!
Made it for lunch today and couldn’t stop eating!!! So delicious. My partner loved it too. It’s going to be a regular thing!!
Ahhh yay! Thanks Brain!
This soup is wonderful! I made it under difficult circumstances: A small, strange kitchen with limited pots, no measuring cups or spoons and very little space to work. It was still delicious! Thank you for this recipe! Oh, I might have doubled the cheddar……
This soup is amazing! I came across this recipe while trying to find something to do with some excess Gouda, and even though I’m not a big broccoli fan (and that’s an understatement) decided to give it a try. This has become one of my favorite soups and I make it regularly. Thank you so much for a frankenfood free option!
Better than Panera! Thanks for the recipe.
Thank you Darcy!!
I’ve been looking for a great broccoli cheese soup recipe and this one is it! I thinned it just a little with milk at the end and omitted the cayenne. It was a hit with the hubby and the baby. I shared it on my Friday Favorites blog post last week.
Thanks so much for the great recipe!
This is the best soup ever. It’s so delicious and flavourful and easy to make. It’s also easy to eat the entire pot yourself in one sitting. Make this soup now. It’s comfort in a bowl!
Yayyy! So glad you enjoyed it April, thank you!
Thank you Angelina!
I just made this soup in the crockpot and it was amazing! The key to converting it to a crockpot recipe was this: cook veggies, spices and stock/broth on low for 4 hours. Then in a saucepan on the stove make a quick roux by melting butter, adding flour and then whisking milk and finally cheese. Then add this to the crockpot and it’s magic! I also added 1T constarch at the end mixed in cold water to thicken a bit. Thank you for the amazing recipe! It’s a keeper for sure!
Christa you’re amazing! Thank you for the crock-pot tips (totally trying it ASAP!) 🙂
Very easy to make. Before serving I put a 1/2 t. of sherry in each bowl. Then topped with 1 T. of shredded cheddar cheese.
❤ Delicious ❤
Am I supposed to change the insta pot from sauté to pressure cook?
Hi Marie! Yes you’ll want to turn off the sauté function and then set the IP to HIGH for 5 minutes. I’ll update the instructions to include the extra clarification – great question! 🙂
Can I substitute the gouda cheese with swiss cheese?
Hi Pat! Swiss melts great and as long as you’re a big fan of the flavor I would say totally try it out alongside the cheddar! LMK how it goes!
Making it right now and it’s delicious!!!! Love all the ingredients you suggested!!! It’s perfect! Thank you
Wooot woooot!!! Save me a bowl 😉
My family loved it! My 2 and 5 year olds really enjoyed the bread & butter i served but woULD’nt we all! Would make it again for sure!
Yay!!! I could legit marry this soup – super glad it was a hit!
This soup is so amazing. This is the 10th time I’ve made it and it gets better every time
So so SO happy to hear it Heather, thank you! You’d fit right in at this house – we love our B+C soup! <3
Hands down the best broccoli and cheese soup recipe I’ve made.
Whoohoo! Thanks Courtney! <3
Oh this looks soooo good and I was so excited to make this! I actually attempted this and I think I did something wrong because the soup tastes like spices, mostly nutmeg. I followed the measurements exactly but judt doubled the batch. I’m not sure what I did but I guess I added too much spice :(. So disappointed in myself!
Hey Mia! You might be a wee bit sensitive to the taste of nutmeg? It can taste strong to some! I would add a little extra cheese and broth tomorrow after it sits in the fridge and that should dull the spice! I have friends that absolutely love nutmeg and ones that loathe it and skip it in any and all recipes, so don’t feel bad whatsoever!
Ill def have to try this without the allspice and nutmeg ! Thanks 🙂
Love this! Have made it several times.
Thank you! Thank you!
Has anyone tried this in a crockpot?
I have a few times actually! I kept thinking I could make it work by adding the cheese and dairy at the end before serving- and it did work by textbook definition, but it somewhat paled in comparison to fresh soup. I think cooking the broccoli for so long in the slow cooker made it taste a little off [I tried it on both high and low during test runs] and I wasn’t in love with it like I was with the stove-top version. It’s still tasty and absolutely do-able but I think your best bet for making this soup speedier would be to chop all your veggies ahead of time and put them in the fridge in a baggie/container. The most time consuming part is chopping them and the rest of the soup comes together so quickly! I’ve pre-prepped it like that a few times and it’s great. I hope that helps Laura, and that you get a chance to try the soup. I’m obsessed with it 🙂
I am currently making this soup for the fifth time and I love it! Its always a hit, and you can pretty much throw any veggie in and its still delicious. The one thats simmering away one the stove now has shredded zucchini and red onion instead of white, in addition to the broccoli and carrots!
My only complaint is that there is never enough soup! I sometimes triple this delicious, nutrient-rich recipe! So yum!
Zucchini is brilliant! I’m absolutely trying your tasty spin on the soup! YUM! Thanks so so much Laeken! Your comment totally made me smile 🙂
Have you tried this in the crockpot
I did! It wasn’t my favorite method for a cheese based soup. The cheese almost always curdled and the broccoli always got too too soft. Stovetop is hands-down my favorite prep method for this particular soup. To make it super speedy, you can even prep all your veggies ahead of time [chop and measure] a day or two in advance and then it comes together so fast as a weeknight meal!
I have made this many times for me and my adult children. We all love love love it!!
Loved it! Made this recipe for dinner and my family and I devoured it. It is definitely a recipe to leave in the books in our home!
I came back to tell you how !much I loved this soup but since I had to scroll past a few hundred raving fan posts I suppose you already know. I will be adding this to my regulars. I served it with a side of cornbread. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
I’ve been eyeing up this recipe for too long. A sale on broccoli + freezing rain…I think it’s destined to happen soon!
Anything that passes the test for all 5 of us is nothing short of a miracle (or ice cream). It needs to be doubled at a minimum though! 🙂
WOW this is delicious! I only had fat free 1/2 & 1/2 and low fat sharp cheddar – those were the only substitutions i made. Love it! Hubby just called and is going to be late. Hope I don’t eat the whole pan before he gets home.
Made it and everybody loved it! So yummy!! 😉
Found this recipe on Pinterest. Turned out yummy! Used beef broth instead of chicken.
Hi Jenn…..made this soup this afternoon and it is delicious (haven’t served it yet but had to have a taste!) we will have it soon while we watch football playoffs. I used 1% milk instead of 1/2 and 1/2 (just to try and be skinny!) and closer to 3 cups of chicken broth, also added 1/4 cup white wine, just cuz wine in soup is always delicious adds another layer of flavor. It still has a thick consistency even though I used milk, added a little extra flour to help thicken it a bit. Thanks so much for the recipe, we love soup, try a new one every Sunday in the winters!
I guess to make this soup gluten free, I would thicken it with corn starch, sound really delish, Thank you!
Hey Ann! That should work just fine! =) I’ve also heard potato starch works too. Hope you love the soup as much as I do!
Tasted wonderful!!! Added extra veggies, and used veg. stock and rice flour to make it gluten free, like you suggested. Many thanks!!
Chop your broccoli stalk up nice and small and put it in too! I always use my broccoli stalk for soups if I’ve just eaten the pretty florets, it helps limit your waste and it’s tasty, just doesn’t look as yummers. Why do recipes always tell us to remove the stalk?!
I think because I’m used to my family and friends not being very fond of them? At least for me that’s what it is! I dip my broccoli stalks in dressing, use them in slaw, or juice it with a medley of fruit and veggies! =) I feel you though, I despise waste and try to get the most from anything I bring home!
I made this tonight, and substituted cornstarch for flour to make it gluten free – it was YUMMY!!! Thanks for a new family favorite!!
I made this Saturday and it was great. Tonight I gently warmed it up for supper but it separated and was watery and gloppy. Still tasted ok but no longer the right consistency. I also substituted the Gouda with Fontina. What happened???
I too doubled the recipe so I’m hoping the soup isn’t ruined. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
Hey Paulette! Eek! I’ve never had fontina anywhere other than in restaurants [baked into yummy bread!] so I’m not super familiar with it’s behavior when it comes to melting and reheating. Was that the only change made? [Trying to help troubleshoot!] Whenever I’ve reheated this particular soup, as written, I’ve had great luck. I’ve even been able to microwave it with great results, though the cheese [as real cheese always does] sometimes looks a little different with leftovers, always the same flavor profile. I’m not sure if it’s the cheese? Certain fontina cheeses are softer and great for melting while others are a bit of a harder cheese [the ones aged longer] and may not want to melt up as it previously behaved. [This is making me want to run away and become a cheese scientist! hah!] You could add extra broth if you feel it is too thick now [veggies soaked up moisture when reheated?] then grate a little extra cheese on top after heating, and stir into the hot soup before serving. Feel free to shoot me an email and we can chat more! I’m still chugging my morning coffee so I apologize if my brain is a bit broken so far today lol. Hope to talk to you soon! xoxo
Made it. Loved it. Used Fontina because it’s what I could find. Doubled it to freeze. Going to slim it down next time so I don’t have the guilt but if your diet can afford the splurge I recommend keeping as is. So creamy and indulgent 🙂
Thanks Tiffany!!!! Fontina is so rich and buttery yum!!!! It must have been a great addition! I’m happy you enjoyed it too!
Opps! Forgot to rate! Sorry!
Thanks so much Christa!!! Too many veggies? haha nevahhh! So glad you loved the soup!
Just made this for a day filled with scrapbooking! It is so yummy!!! I found the 2 cups of stock wasn’t enough though. Just added more and it was fine! Maybe I added too many veggies? LOL! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I have definitely pinned this one and will use it over and over again!
Oh my goodness this is AMAZEBALLS!! Broc and cheese is my favorite soup but I’ve always been scared to make it. This was so simple and so down home tasting. I finished mine off with a couple of slices of rosemary bread. This will carry me through the winter. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was AMAZING. My husband loved it. He said it was the best broccoli cheese soup he’s ever had. It is definitely a recipe I will keep!
Woot!!!! So glad you both approved! <3 Thanks Brittani!!
Just made this for dinner – it was incredible! I used Greek yogurt instead of the half and half and it turned out great. Can’t wait to eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow 🙂 thanks for sharing!
Oh. My. Gosh!!! Amazing!!! I made this last night and we loved it! My husband even went back for seconds! I added mushrooms to mine and it tastes amazing! I was also happy to see I could substitute regular flour for rice flour to make it GF for my hubby!! Im curious, do you think you could substitute the Goida for Havarti? I think I may try it that way next time!
Yay!!! So glad you both loved it! The addition of mushrooms is brilliant- I have to try that! Havarti will work as will Gruyere! Both tend to be on the softer/meltier side so they will make an excellent addition!
Move over Panera….Peas and Crayons has the BEST broccoli cheese soup recipe!! I have made this soup many times, it’s very simple to make and so yummy. My sons LOVE this recipe too, major plus
So good! Panera is my favorite and this soup is as close as you can get to theirs, but better because 1) it’s homemade 2)you can make a huge batch without spending a small fortune.
I just made this, I am a college student who loves broccoli and cheese soup. I wanted to make something that I had majority of the ingredients for and this fit the piece. I would like to say this…this was the best version I have ever had! This was my first time making a soup in general and wow! Great directions, ingredients, and overall just awesome! I will be passing this on to my Grandmother and Mother. Great recipe good job!
Dear Jenn, please reply – I live in a country where we don’t have half and half. What would you recommend I substitute it with? Thanks so much! 🙂
Evaporated milk will work great! For frozen broc, I’m not sure how much water it will add to the soup when you add it in, but it might work! It might be a tad different texture and taste wise too. Let me know how it works out! <3
Can I Use Evaporated Milk Instead OF The Half And Half? And What If I Were Using Frozen Broccoli Instead Of Freash?
I love how easy this was to make!!! My son even complimented me on dinner and that NEVER happens. 🙂
Simply triple and you’re good to go! 🙂
So I see that it makes about 4cups but I am wanting to make it for about 12 people. Are there any adjustments that I should make to the recipe or just triple everything?
I found you through pinterest and decided to give your recipe a try and WOW!! I just made this for dinner tonight and it is amazing! I’ve never had the panera version (they don’t have those where I live, sadly), but this soup is impressive! I also love that it is vegetarian! I try to cook vegetarian meals at least 3 times a week to help cut down on cost of groceries, and this is is such an amazing dish! My husband (a carnivore) didn’t even miss the meat. This will be going into our dinner rotation! Thank you so much for posting this!
Just made this soup and it’s AMMMMMAZING ! I can’t believe I spent so much money at Panera Bread ! I could of been making this years ago ! Thank You !!
Just made this soup for myself…errr I mean my family ; ) and I LOVE IT! Super easy to make (even with grading the cheese yourself). My husband (worlds biggest critic when it comes to my cooking) and my 1 year old son gobbled it up (as well as myself)! This is definitely going to be my go-to comfort food soup AND I am planning on making it again when I have an all girls night at my house next month. Thanks! I look forward to perusing your site for more delish recipes!
I believe so! Lost sources suggest sweet rice flour to thicken a soup via GF roux: http://mobile.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/01/gluten-free-tuesday-roux-rice-flour.html — as for the crockpot, I would skip it. Sometimes heating delicate cheeses for that long will result in grainy or curdled chunks in the soup. I’ve tried it both ways and prefer stovetop.
Hope that helps! Xo
Hey Rebekah! Approx 4 cups of soup! 🙂
How much does this make?
also want to know if this works in a crock pot?
Can I do this with gluten free flour?
I made this for a work function. I made it the night before and then in the morning poured it into the crockpot and it heated up nicely, Just make sure to heat up on low. It was so yummy, will be making again soon!
So excited for you to try the recipe! Substitute with a little more broccoli and you’re good to go! The stem or florets should work marvelously! Xo
Always love a good soup recipie. I have a point of conern, though. I’m allergic to carrots–I can’t even handle them without getting hives. How nessicary are they to this recipie? Could I substitute another veggie? Use more broccoli? Grate the stem?
Yes that should work! You can add a little butter in still if you’d like the flavor but absolutely skip the flour to make the soup GF! =)
I love that your daughter out eats the entire clan! =) So happy you guys liked the soup! xoxo
I just made this and it really is AMAZING. I quadrupled the recipe as I have 2 teen boys and a 10 year old girl who can out-eat them! WOWOWOWOW Make this soup.
HO.LY. COW. This is literally the best broccoli cheese soup I’ve ever had. I’m adding this to my personal cookbook right now!
I’m new to gluten free cooking. Would you add the potato puree to the broth and vegetables to thicken it and omit the flour/butter steps? Can’t wait to try it out this weekend, even though it’s still warm my 7 year old insists it isn’t fall until I start making soup and broccoli cheddar is her favorite!
Hi Angela! So excited you’re making the soup! Thanks! The recipe yields about four cups of soup total, so you may want to possibly double or triple the recipe depending on if you’re serving it as the main course or as a side/appetizer — leftovers also freeze marvelously! 🙂 xo
I made this tonight, adding extra milk and a few more Spices because I added chicken and more broccoli – it’s absolutely delicious. Thank You!
how many servings does this make? Im planning on making it tomorrow for a family of 7.
Hey, I made this soup once in the Spring, and then again for supper tonight. It’s super delicious. I definitely don’t need to try any other broccoli cheese soup recipes. This is THE ONE!
Props to Pinterest for leading me here, and of course to you Jenn. Good work!
It’s so quick to whip up via stovetop that cleaning the crockpot would just be a hassle.. But I’ll recipe test it to see if it works next time I make it! Ill keep ya posted 🙂 xoxo
is this something you could make in the crockpot? or does it have to be done on the stove?
Hi Jen! I used all natural “Kitchen Basics” chicken cooking stock and the box states that there is “no msg”. You may want to try this brand of chicken stock (if you can find it in your local grocery store), if you are not making your own.
Yes!!! “Fixing something to eat” vs actual cooking us a fabulous way to put it! Way to rock the healthy lifestyle changes and whole foods! You’re awesome!
Thanks Jeanne!!! Glad your family loved it! 🙂
Just walked away from the table after serving this to my husband and two kids. Everyone loved it! Thank you so much for this recipe!
loved it, thanks! you really can stop searching everyone! this is it! this is the broccoli cheese soup you’ve been looking for!
Could you use evaporated milk in place of the half n half?
Just made this soup and it was awesome! I added some chili flakes and paired it with a sammich 🙂
Thanks for this awesome recipe, I will definitely be making this again and again!!!!
OMG!!!! This sounds WONDERFUL! and yes, I have seen those bazillions of recipes with Velveeta–YUCK! Thank you for this “healthy real food” soup recipe. Totally agree with all you wrote about Panera–they truly “give back to the community” and it is my favorite place to meet friends and have breakfast or lunch. You walk in and smell that wonderful bread–what’s not to like?
Thank you!!!! I HATE frankenfoods!! ‘Cream of’ anything canned is disgusting. In any recipe using them, I say it’s not cooking. It’s ‘fixing something to eat.’ And I’m against low fat products. I’ve taken 70lbs off by eating REAL food. I will DEF make this.
I just made this and it’s delicious!! I didn’t have the gouda on hand, but I can imagine how it would be even better with that added in. Thank you 🙂
I am so ready to try this!!.
Didn’t know broccoli could be this good! Leftovers for lunch today were just as delicious. You and your soup ROCK!
Thanks!!!! So happy you liked it! I can’t wait for cooler temps so I have an excuse to make this one more often =) I’m a bit obsessed!
OMeffinG!! Best broccoli cheese soup ever! Used smoked Gouda. And the recipe is already perfectly creamy; no additional flour necessary.
Looks so good! Can’t wait to try. Huge THANK YOU for adding the gluten free option to the recipe!
This is by far, hands down, THE best broccoli and cheese soup I have ever tasted. My husband does not like soup and he couldn’t get enough of it!
This might be the first soup I make without the aide of my crockpot, it just looks so dang good!
I just tried Panera’s broccoli cheese soup the other day and loved it. Having grown up on my mom’s, I found others bland and pasty. Your recipe looks so good and I love the fresh ingredients. Can’t wait to try it!
Could I use carrot pulp that is leftover from juicing in place of the shredded carrots? I cannot WAIT to try this when it cools down again! My hubby and I were just talking about winter soups, stews, and chowders a few minutes ago… Then I get on Pinterest and see this! Perfect timing!
Absolutely! I use the lefotver pulp as a salad topper and in my carrot coconut muffins but I haven’t tried it in this soup yet! I’ll probably do the same next time I make it! It won’t have *all* the flavor the carrot normally contributes but I think it’s a close enough swap that it will still be delish — let me know! <3 I’m excited for you to try the recipe! =)
I absolutely LOVE broccoli & cheese soup, but I’m dairy free and haven’t had any in soooo long. Do you think goat cheese would totally ruin this if I used that instead?
Goat cheese is super strong so start off with a little and work your way up, tasting as you go! I’d also opt for a bit of coconut milk to use as a thickener and some Romano (sheep!) cheese for its amazing flavor! It will be a different flavor profile entirely but should still be cheesy and yummy! Let me know how it goes! <3
Thanks! I’ll give it a go when I get a chance and let you know the results!
I just made this and my husband and I both loved it! I cook so much that I’m not big on following recipes, but I’m so glad I did! Thanks for making it worth my time!
Yay!!!! So glad you have this one a chance! <3 xoxo
Oh my! Just made this for supper and the family loved it! Thanks!
Thank you so much!!! It came out to 9 pages (I printed 7 of them). I can live with that. I can hardly wait to try this soup!
I really want to keep your recipe in my recipe box, but when I go to print it, it’s 23 pages long, the pictures are scattered as well as the paragraphs. Is there any way you can put up a link just for the recipe w/o pics or comments? I love broccoli and cheddar soup and can hardly wait to try this.
Hi LaDonna! Thanks!!!! So happy you found my blog! Here’s a link to how to remove the images:
But if that’s being weird and not working email me or leave me your email so I can email you and I’ll send you the text-only version of the recipe! Just let me know! xoxo
Just made this now. Super easy and a great way to get veggies into our diets that we don’t normally eat! I made it using thickened cream this time, but I would prefer something with a bit less fat and less rich. Would sour cream or 0% milk work better?
I know for a fact that it works with half and half and have had a few friends/readers try it with whole milk, 2% milk, and lowfat milk and say they loved it — I think skim/0% milk may be just a bit too watery though? The lower fat content the dairy posesses, the less thick the soup will be but the flavor should still be spot on with lower fat milks. Light/regular sour cream would make the soup taste tangy because of the bacteria cultures. Hope that helps! <3 Let me know which one you wind up trying out! xoxo
Thanks, I might buy a bottle of low fat milk instead and try that!
This was out of this world!!! It’s very rare to see my husband eat a vegetable & he gobbled this down! Thank you for the recipe ; ) I had to change it up a little bit based off of the ingredients I had at home. I used 1 cup of veg & 1 cup of chicken broth. I did not use gouda cheese but used what I had on hand (sharp, colby jack & parmesan.) & then I did not have allspice or nutmeg in my pantry. (and I chopped my carrots up teeny tiny instead of shredding them)
Thanks Angela! =) I’m glad the recipe worked marvelously with what you had on hand! Any recipe that can do that stays in rotation here forever since I’m always out of SOMETHING! hehe =) So excited this soup got a thumbs up from the veggie-wary husband too!
It was a Panera sponsored/inspired post [disclosed in the post itself since I’m a stickler for that!] but since I live in a really small southern town, it truly is one of the healthier options that I can easily get friends to agree on when we’re finally all able to meet up. For the most part I dine at home and make my meals from scratch to avoid sketchy ingredients and such. Thanks for looking out! =)
I made this very american soup for my family tonight and we absolutely loved it. It is the first time my boys had broccoli cheese soup and my 1.5 year old cleaned his bowl just couldn’t get enough.
So, just wanted to let you know that your recipe has reached it way to Denmark and I will definately serve it again. Thank you 🙂
Thanks Phie!!!!! My dad’s side of the family is actually from Denmark! Copenhagen to be exact =) It’s so goregous there I’ve been dying to visit again =)
I’m so excited your family loved the soup! And a toddler approval? That’s the best ever! Thanks!
I don’t know how I came here (probably from pinterest) but I’m so glad I did. I made this soup today and it was seriously GOOD! I have to admit that I had a bit of bacon that needed using so I cut it up, cooked it, and made the roux (not sure of the spelling) on top of that. It was a lovely and tasty addition. But even without the bacon this is the best broccoli/cheese soup I’ve ever made. Guess now I’ll have to look at your other recipes!
Thanks! Glad you love it!!!! <3
Thank you, this is just what I need for my daily vegetable intake 😀
And yes, right now I’m expecting my first ^^
ahhhh thanks! and congrats!
Hey there! Any idea if this will freeze and reheat well? I’m pregnant and want to freeze some yummy meals for post-babybirthin’.
Hey Natalie! Congrats! [I’m expecting too! ee!] I haven’t tried it but I did freeze a batch that my husband fully inhaled behind my back [haha] and have been told by a few readers that they found it to freeze well too. When I freeze soups I’ll try to freeze thicker versions of the soup so when I reaheat they’re extra thick and creamy — adding heavier cream or a bit extra of the flour/butter roux will help to further thicken it if you’d like! I’m always an email away too if any questions pop up or you need freezer meal ideas! xoxo
This recipe is fantastic!! I just made it tonight and am quite impressed (with the recipe and with myself for doing it justice;). Next time, I will skip adding the salt like you suggested. It’s a bit salty for me, and that’s saying a lot because I love salt. I should’ve listened to my gut and went without it. That being said, it’s still damn delicious and I will devour it all in no time. Thanks for a great recipe! Already excited to make it again! (Also, I often do food posts on my blog from recipes I made, so I hope you don’t mind if I post far less professional pictures of my cooking process on my blog and credit you for the recipe!)
Hi Renee! Thank you!!!! It’s one of my favorite recipes so I’m glad you loved it =) If you blog it, do you mind not re-printing my recipe? I spent a bit of money recipe testing it like a fiend, so I’d like to use it for my cookbook and keep the recipe on my blog for copyright reasons <3 I’d LOVE to see all your process shots though and could direct anyone that needs a visual to the post if you’d like! Thanks again! xo
Not a problem at all. I will direct my faithful (few;) followers to your blog for the recipe. I didn’t know you were doing a cookbook. That’s exciting, congrats! Thanks again for the great recipe!
Thanks Renee! It’s been my dream to write one even before starting the blog so I figured I better get my butt in gear and get cracking on it! Let me know when your post is live so I can send people over to see all the yummy photos! <3
Hey there, Jenn! Just wanted to let you know the post is live. You (and others) can check it out at http://highhopesandheartbreak.blogspot.com/. It’s the first post right now, but in the future, it’ll be in the “Cookin’ in the Kitchen” tab. Bear in mind, my pics are simply from my iPhone, so yours are much better. 🙂 I’m eating the soup right now, so I couldn’t be happier. Have a good weekend!
Ahhhh I love it! Tweeting it and adding it to my Pinterest boards so everyone can check it out! <3 Thanks Renee!
The little curdled cheese nugget situation had been driving me crazy too! That’s why I tested this baby so much – super happy to help! This procedure will work with a number of cheese based soups and sauces so I hope it continues to come in handy for you! xoxo
Can you tell me how much this recipe makes? I feed a family of 6 and I was thinking I should probably double the recipe.
Ohmygosh I am kicking myself for not writing it down when I wrote the recipe. I usually measure all my soups – terribly sorry! To feed 6 you’ll definitley want to double the recipe because I think this only made about 4 cups [maybe a little more] of soup. Most of my friends/family have doubled it when they made it at home so that should ensure you have enough. I’ll make it again once I get to the store for ingredients and get an exact amount to add to the post! <3 Thanks Hollis! xo
I absolutely love, love, love this recipe.. I love broccoli cheese soup, and only eat it if I go out and its available.. Pre-packages soups are too salty, even the dry mix kind.. I have been doing a lot of cooking from scratch of all the things I love to eat. And this by far will need to be tripled the next time for me and my son.. We ate some for dinner but I immediately scooped out some for lunch the next day. We ate it with french bread.. I of course made a thicker soup with the added butter and flour, amazing, and more veggie, because I got shred happy with the carrots and broccoli.. I did not use the bay leaf, & cayenne pepper..I also used a low sodium vegetable stock, white cheddar cheese and swiss cheese. So good next time i will use the gouda. Thanks for the recipe again it is the BOMB.
*happy dance!* Thanks Renee!!!!! The gouda makes it even creamier – you’ll love it! <3 It makes me beyond happy that you went shred happy with the veggies, that happens a lot here in this kitchen too! With veggies its always the more the merrier! =) [wow… I’m THAT cheesy! lol]
Yea, ok this was absolutely delicious!! I didn’t want to spend the money for the gouda and I just substituted Sharp cheddar and it was still just as delicious!
Fabulous! So glad!
That was delicious, thank you. I am usually not a huge soup fan but this recipe looked so tasty that I had to try it and I will definitely be making it again!
This soup looks great and I am definitely pinning it….probably for a day I am home alone, because I want it all to myself! I do have a silly question- where did you get those little tiny soup spoons! They are so cute!
Thanks Heather!!!! The spoons are from Crate and Barrel! 🙂
You can also substitute corn starch for flour. To make gluten free.. This soup also freezes well..
Awesome! Good point!!! Thank you =)
“Come on kids! We’re better than that! Eat real food.” – LOVE THAT!!! Thank you for posting a recipe not using the cheese product that seems to dominate every broccoli cheese soup recipe out there. I will be making this soon and will report back with what I am sure to be a raving review 🙂
That cheese product can take a flying leap out of our kitchens! Glad you’re with me! xoxo
I used 1% milk and only 1/2 cup of cheddar and it was de-lish.
We ate this tonight. The second recipe of yours we’ve tried. Everytime I make one of your meals, my boys and husband rave over dinner and say it’s the best thing ever.
I think I’ll just make a grocery list from your website from now on!
Ahhh! Thanks!!!! I’m so over the moon that you love them and the flautas too! =) Reading your comments made my night last night =)
Made this tonight for my roommates and I and it was very well received! I didn’t have any cayenne pepper but you couldn’t tell that anything was missing. Thanks for a great recipe!
Just made the soup, used frozen veggies b/c i had then on hand. Oh boy is this amazing live it. I’ve shared with my while family your site!
Can I just confess— I have been changing the way I eat for a year now. I’ve been in a funk because we challenged ourselves to not eating out for a month. I am very irritable. I feel like it’s all work and no play for me. Then I saw your post with the delicious looking, non-synthetic ingredients, and I realized it will be okay.
Thanks for sharing.
Hey Amanda! Thanks! Here’s the link: http://peasandcrayons.com/2012/12/creamy-cauliflower-soup-with-asparagus.html
Question… I can’t find your Cauliflower Asparagus Pesto Soup recipe that was mentioned in another comment. Can you please post a link? That sounds very good, and I’d love to try it! Thanks, Amanda
Made this tonight! It was GREAT! Thanks so much for the recipe! We will be having this again!
I followed the recipe exactly minus the allspice, since I didn’t have any. Let me say that this is the best soup ever. It is such a fresh soup that doesn’t feel really heavy. I stress this since I used whipping cream instead of half and half. Thank you for sharing this recipe. This is a soup that will be recurring in our household.
I made this today and I can’t get enough (although I need to, because, let’s face it, this isn’t good on the waistline :))! It’s THE best broccoli and cheese soup I’ve ever made. Thanks so much!
My entire family loved this! Thank you!
Just made this soup. I saw it pinned on pintrest and pinned it myself. The soup is AMAZING!!
Just made this but had to adjust a few things because of what I had available. My cheeses were 1 cup gouda, 1/2 cup parmesan, and 1 1/2 cup cheddar. I also used 2% instead of cream and the soup overall was awesome!!
So happy it works with low-fat milk! eee! Thanks!
Just made this and I absolutely love it! Better than Panera Bread!
Thanks for the gluten free adaptation! Panera’s broccoli cheese soup is what I miss most!
You’re super welcome! Hope you love it!
This recipe looka delicious! I hate to burst your bubble but panera is far from homemade and healthy :/ research it…they are as bad as any fast food out there! Kudos to them for donating bread 🙂
I do love that they donate and they serve whole foods… which, to me, still beats the pants off the franken-nuggets made with pink slime and taco shells laced with silica and weird additives. Though I completely understand that no restaurant can ever truly compete with homemade and hand-picked, especially for those of us with dietary restrictions, intolerances, and other such needs. However sometimes in life you’re eating socially with friends or co-workers or just need an option outside the home, and I would always prefer a Panera greek salad and baguette over a greasy fast food burger and fries. I do value and appreciate your comment though and will keep an eye out for any such research that comes my way. Thanks so much for stopping by Angela!
yum! A trick to melting the cheese. Boil water (or broth), tbsp butter, shredded cheese & a couple tsp corn starch. this allows the cheese to melt but not separate.
Living in Japan we don’t have PB down the road anymore…I LOVE their soup! I have been looking for a recipe without “canned cream of anything” and Fake cheese! Can not wait to try this recipe!
I hope you adore it!! xoxo
I have been searching high and low for a broc/cheese soup recipe that does not have “canned cream of anything” or FAKE cheese!! Thank you so much…PB is my favorite, but living in Japan there are none around…lol! I can not wait to try this recipe!!
I really want to try this recipe, but i really dont like gouda..any ideas?
Anything melty will work fabulously for you! Fontina is a great melty cheese for soups with great flavor. Brie will work too! An american-cheddar blend or colby cheese should be soft and melt too I believe =) Lots of options! xoxo
Made this last night and subbed evaporated skim milk for the half and half – it was perfect except I wish it made more! 🙂
It does LOOK like comfort in a bowl!! I’l have to try this one out
This looks absolutely divine! I want to jump in a bowl of it right now!
I saw this and had to have it. I made it last night and it was SO delicious! I could only find smoked gouda in my store; is that what you used? Next time I would do equal parts chedder and gouda and omit the extra salt. Thanks for the great recipe!
The salt will def vary person to person and also depending on the broth’s sodium content – I added the note in there just in case so no one runs through the house on a salt high =) haha! I used regular gouda but it’s good to know smoked was yummy too! Thanks Lauren!!!! <3
Haha then he clearly needs this soup! Stat! =) Thanks Claire!
I flipping love gouda =)
I want some. Now. Come and make it for me and the Peanut and I’ll let you swing dance with J.
I’m on it!
This is my favorite soup from Panera too! I am so happy/excited/giddy to try this because I know its legit! I have never attempted homemade broccoli cheddar soup becasue all the recipes have nasty-fakeness (word?)going on! YUM thank you!!!!!
Yes! Down with fakeness! Thanks Colby!
Since I made your cauliflower asparagus pesto soup last weekend, and it didn’t disappoint, I think I’m going to have try your broccoli cheddar soup this weekend. I LOVE Panera’s BC soup but then I gave up meat (silly girl), and it turns out they make it with chicken stock. So whenever we go, I shoot dagger eyes at the Hubby across the table as he slurps up my once favorite soup. Hope you have a great weekend.
P.S. Love the name; it’s right up my alley, in a non-skethcy way.
I’m so thrilled you liked the cauli soup!!!! Thanks Meghan! Let me know if you end up making this one =) No more dagger eyes! lol
I die. This totally made my day Meghan! When I was recipe testing I tried the saute method and it totally worked, but his worked almost identically AND was easier/less messy. I about swooned into the pot and I’m over the flipping moon that you loved it too!
I made your Broccoli Cheese soup last night, and at first, I was concerned. Typically when I make soup, I saute my veggies in a little oil first, then add the liquid component (i.e. veggie stock), but that wasn’t the case here. Your recipe has it all going into the pot together. Not gonna lie, I was nervous, but I decided to just trust you (this is big for me) and follow your recipe as written. I’m glad I did because I can vouch for it. It was soooo good, creamy, cheesy, and delicious. The only thing I can’t vouch for is whether it’s good when reheated because there weren’t any leftovers. Both the Hubby and I went back for seconds. You are da BOMB.
um. DROOL. i love panera’s broccoli and cheddar soup so i’m definitely going to make this soon!
Yay!! Do it!
That looks like the perfect, hearty sopa to have for dinner on this cold night! Slirpy, slirpy, nom!
Ohhhh…… I have to try making that!!
It’s beyond easy! Hope you love it!
yummm love panera and broccoli cheese! (thought I always get french onion when I go there) 🙂
oh french onion… I love that soup too!