One pot, one hour, one great soup. And oh so easy. Better than restaurant quality broccoli cheese soup for your family or company. You will love this soup.
Editor’s note: Originally published December 19, 2015. This has become one of my go-to recipes and is being updated with re-edited photos and text.
I longed for this soup for several weeks but had just been too busy. In fact, there was almost no food in the house. Not good for a food blogger. So on the way home from the hospital this morning I made a 10-minute grocery run.
For lunch, I presented my wife with this wonderful homemade broccoli cheese soup with grilled ham and swiss sandwich. She is a happy wife now.
This is the second soup in my “Week of Soups”.
Pre-Week of Soup Recipes
Week of Soups Recipes
A solid 5. One of my top recipes.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for One Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
I wanted one pot. I wanted to cook the broccoli in the soup and not separately. And I didn’t want to use any cream. I don’t ever have cream, and although this is not low-fat, there are some things I just won’t do.
Nothing matched my needs, so I combined. The results are better than I ever expected.
The Cheese: I fess up. I like Velveeta. So here I used sharp cheddar and Velveeta. But choose the cheeses you like. Most will want a mixture of different cheddars.
Copycat Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup
If you want to copycat Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup, then just add one cup matchstick-cut carrots and one stalk thinly sliced celery at the same time as the broccoli.
Make it Bacon Broccoli Cheese Soup
Everything is better with bacon. This is my wife’s addition. Chop 3 strips of bacon into 1/2 inch squares and fry until done. Drain and add along with the cheese.
Can I use frozen broccoli?
Yep. Measure by volume. A good size head of broccoli will make about 2 cups. You can up the broccoli a bit if you want. Also, the frozen broccoli may take a few minutes more to get tender, so cook to tender and not by time if using frozen.
These are double batch pictures. The recipe discussion below is a single batch, and the ingredient list is for a single batch, but pictures are for a double batch.
Rinse and spoon size chop one head of fresh broccoli. I discarded the broccoli stalk. This should be about two cups.
Mince a small or 1/2 of a medium onion. Over medium-high heat melt four tablespoons butter. Add onion and cook until clearing. About 3 minutes. Add one clove minced garlic and cook one more minute.
Decrease heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup flour and continue to cook and stir continually until browning some. About 3 minutes.
Slowly add two cups chicken or vegetable broth continuing to stir. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Allow to thicken some then add two cups milk. Bring to a boil and allow to thicken.
Add broccoli, cover and turn down heat to simmer. Simmer until broccoli is tender. About 25 minutes.
Option: Some people like to run an immersion blender through the soup at this point. I only wanted a little of that blending, so I used a potato masher.
Add 2 cups of cheese of choice. I used sharp cheddar and Velveeta. Simmer another 5 minutes and serve.
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Originally published December 19, 2015