2cupsshredded cheese of choiceassume 4 ozs. equals 1 cup if not shredded cheese
Rinse and spoon size chop one head of fresh broccoli. I discarded the 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 the heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup flour, continue to cook, and stir continually until browning some. About 3 minutes.
Slowly add two cups of 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 of milk. Bring to a boil and allow to thicken.
Add broccoli,cover and turn down the 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 two cups of cheese of choice. I used sharp cheddar and some Velveeta. Simmer another 5 minutes and serve.
Choose the cheeses you like.
Frozen broccoli works fine but may take a few minutes longer. Cook to the point of the broccoli is tender.
If you want to copycat Panera, then add 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots and 1 stalk thinly sliced celery at the same time as the broccoli.
Make it Bacon Broccoli Cheese Soup. Everything is better with bacon. Chop 3 strips of bacon into 1/2 inch squares and fry until done. Drain and add along with the cheese.
Great as leftovers. Good refrigerated for 3-4 days and frozen for 3-4 months.
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