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Better-Than-Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

by Apr 14, 2020Copy Cat, Favorites, Soup

Better-Than-Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we found ourselves with a Costco-sized bag of broccoli florets,  while we shared some with neighbors we still had more than enough to cover several meals. So we made some soup! I love the addition of the carrots they add a little sweetness. We like the veggies a little crunchy and it helps keep them from being overcooked when having leftovers.


  • 1 tablespoon + 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small/medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 to 3 cups broccoli florets, diced into bite-size pieces + 1 cups stems
  • 3 large carrots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced into very thin rounds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika, optional and to taste
  • 8 ounces grated quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese + some for garnish


  • Bone broth can be substituted with chicken stock/broth, I just found it had the best flavor with the bone broth
  • You can substitute the half and half with milk for two cups of milk if you do that I would recommend whole milk so that it is somewhat creamy, or for a real indulgence you can use 2 cups half and half, I just do 1 cup of each to cut a few calories.


  1. In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter, add the diced onion, and saute the onion over medium heat until they are translucent and slightly brown. Stirring intermittently.
  2. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large heavy-bottom pot melt the 4 tablespoons butter, add flour, and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly, to make a roux
  4. Add the bone broth, whisking constantly.
  5. Warm up the milk/half and half in the microwave for one minute, adding cold dairy to the warm broth can cause it to curdle.
  6. Add the warm milk/half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly.
  7. Simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened. Stir occasionally to get rid of any skin that may form on the top. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  8. Add broccoli, carrots, and the onion and garlic to the liquid mixture.
  9. Add the salt, pepper, optional paprika, optional dry mustard powder, and optional cayenne. 
  10.  After simmering about 20 to 25 minutes, add the cheese and allow to melt.
  11. Ladle soup to bowls, garnish with grated cheese.




Ready In:

1 hour