Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

If I say the weather here screams for soup, it might be exaggerating! The weather is such that you will not say “No” to a hot cup of soup.

I had bookmarked this recipe long time ago, when I was searching for a Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe. Like all things in my life, it took some time (say a few years) before I got around to make it. But for once, I’m glad that this got delayed, I mean me making this soup.

Sometimes, when you least expect it, life pulls out a surprise on you. I dont mean any major life changing kinda surprise, just a simple one, but nevertheless the kind that put a big smile on your face. The one that gives you the same feeling of a hot soup on a chilled night.

That was my experience with this soup. I first heard about Panera Bread when I was searching for this soup. But never ever I thought I’ll be having this soup from Panera itself. Last October I went to US with Amma. It was kinda a surprise trip. Amma had been planning to go to US for sometime and last minute, she wanted me to join her.

That was my fourth US trip, but the thing is… all my previous trips were confined to New York. This time, I got out of New York and my cousins were saying  “so finally, you got to see what America really looks like” ;)

We were there during the fall season and it was a beautiful time to visit. We were in North and it was pretty chilly. And the weather there at the time, was in fact screaming for a soup. That’s how we ended up in Panera.

So finally when I least expected it, I got to taste the famous “Panera Broccoli and Cheese Soup”. Well, I liked the whole experience – the surprise factor combined with the warmth of the creamy and rich soup in a bread bowl in a chilly afternoon, I was a happy soul!

Recently, I got around to making this soup at home. Now, if you ask me, whether this version tastes similar to Panera’s – the honest answer is I don’t know! I remember enjoying the soup very much and the whole feel of it, but I don’t think I’m up for a side by side comparison.

All I can say is, the version we tried at home was pretty good. We both enjoyed it very much. It’s very comforting and satisfying! A great recipe, which I’ll be making again for sure. Though the soup is creamy and rich with the butter and cheese, it wasn’t overpowering. Most of the time when I’ve creamy soup from outside, it tastes just like melted butter and cream, but this one is packed with flavours and pairs well with some crusty bread. We had ours with some garlic bread.

Here is the recipe…

Melt 10 gms butter in a wide pan. Saute the onion till it becomes soft. Add carrot and broccoli and cook for 2-3 mins. Keep aside…


In a large pot / sauce pan melt the butter (50 gms). Whisk together the melted butter and flour over low -medium heat for about 3-4 minutes…


Slowly whisk in the half and half / milk and chicken stock…

Let it simmer for about 20 minutes…


Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions…

Let them simmer on low-medium, for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and sharp cheddar cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve…

Recipe from here

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Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Servings: 4
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 10 gms Butter (I used salted)
  • 1 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 50 gms Butter (I used salted)
  • 1/4 cup Plain Flour
  • 2 cups Half-and-half cream (I used 2 cups full fat milk)
  • 2 cups Chicken / veg stock / Water (refer notes)
  • 1/2 lb Broccoli (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup Carrot (julienned (1 medium – big carrot))
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 8 ounces Sharp cheddar cheese (227 gms (I used around 100 gms))
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Melt 10 gms butter in a wide pan. Saute the onion till it becomes soft. Add carrot and broccoli and cook for 2-3 mins. Keep aside.
  • In a large pot / sauce pan melt the butter (50 gms). Whisk together the melted butter and flour over low -medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the half and half / milk and chicken stock. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on low-medium, for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
  • Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and sharp cheddar cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve.

Notes

I used homemade chicken stock cubes for this recipe. I used 2 cups full fat milk and 2 cups water and added 5-6 homemade chicken stock cubes. You can also use readymade chicken stock cubes for this recipe. I guess you will need around 2 cubes for the above qty.
This soup is very thick in consistency. I added extra 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup water in the end to loosen it a bit. I microwaved the 1/4 cup water + 1/2 cup water for a min and added to the soup and cooked for 5 mins.
Though the original recipe calls for 227 gms of cheese, I used only around 100 gms. Also, you can add some chicken to make it non veg.
Be careful while adding salt, since the stock and cheese is already salty and if you are using salted butter, that’s extra salt.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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