thus off to the kitchen i went to work on creating a copycat version of panera's broccoli cheddar soup. what i like about panera's version is that instead of just broccoli, they add carrots, celery, and most importantly cheddar cheese.
this soup is one of those cool weather comfort foods. it is really filling and warms you from the inside out!
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20-30 minutes
yields: 6 servings
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 lbs. fresh broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
in a large soup pot over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until the onions are almost translucent. add the diced carrots and celery along with the minced garlic. saute until tender, then cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are soft. add the broth and simmer over medium-low heat.
meanwhile steam the broccoli florets until bright green and tender. be careful to not overcook the broccoli. once cooked, add the broccoli to the soup. transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. return the soup to the pot and add the cream. cook for 2-3 minutes then stir in the cheese until melted. in a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water. slowly add the flour mixture to the soup and stir until slightly thickened. season with salt and pepper to taste. serve warm.