When my husband and I were first dating, we ate at Panera every single week after church. We loved to get the broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl. This is the closest I’ve come to replicating that soup — it was delicious!
The recipe calls for 4 heads of broccoli, but I had a bag of chopped broccoli from Costco. I just kept putting broccoli in until it looked like enough. I used an immersion blender to blend the soup just a little leaving most of the broccoli whole. But feel free to blend or not as much as you want.
- 1 small onion, diced
- ½ stick (1/4 cup) butter
- ¼ cup tasteless oil (grapeseed or similar)
- ⅓ cup flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 heads broccoli cut into florets
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 3 cups grated cheese (I used white cheddar and a Mexican blend)
- Salt and pepper
- Melt butter in a pot over medium heat.
- Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes in melted butter.
- Sprinkle the flour over onions. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so.
- Pour in milk and half and half.
- Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper.
- Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
- Stir in cheese and allow to melt.
- Serve as is, or mash it with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender in two batches and puree completely.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman