Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Who loves Panera Bread?  (I can almost hear a chorus of "Meeeee!'s" through the computer.)  :)

When I was in college, Panera was a place that you always knew one of your friends would be up for going to eat dinner with you.  And I have to admit that 99.999% of the time, I got their broccoli cheddar soup.  

That's why I jumped for joy when I saw this recipe.  Could it be true?  Real "Panera" taste??  And it's my favorite??  AND it's 13 degrees outside?!!  JACKPOT! 

This soup was everything I hoped it would be.  It's cheesy, creamy goodness with tender broccoli & carrots and all the right flavors.  If you're looking for a new soup to make this winter season, let it be this one! 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Recipe Source:  My Life as a Mrs. via Sugarcrafter via. Mangio da Sola

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 sweet onion, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
1 1/2 cups fat free half and half
1 cup shredded and chopped carrots
18 ounces broccoli florets  (I used frozen and it was fine)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed into 1/2" squares
dash cayenne
dash nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat butter in a large heavy bottomed stockpot over medium high heat. Saute onions for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir until combined well. Heat mixture for another 1-2 minutes (stirring constantly).
Add the chicken broth, half and half, and milk; bring mixture to a simmer. Add the broccoli and carrots and simmer for 15-20 minutes (until broccoli is tender). Add both cheeses and stir until combined well. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. 
Season with a dash of cayenne, a dash of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with warm crusty bread and additional cheddar cheese if desired.

*I used an immersion blender to blend my soup a bit after it had all cooked.  I saved a handful of small whole broccoli florets to throw in the pot after the blending.  This was just personal preference, as I wanted my soup a little more creamy instead of eating lots of whole florets.  You can leave the broccoli as it is, no problem, but the blending is why my soup has lots of tiny broccoli bits instead of larger pieces.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to make this! I never thought of putting carrots in my broccoli soup. Mmmm... Wish I were sharing a bowl with you now!!