Make your favorite cheese, rich and creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup at home! This homemade soup is loaded with fresh broccoli and is so cheesy and easy to make. It’s the perfect comfort food for a cold winter night.
You probably already know some cheddar cheese always makes broccoli better! So, you should give this homemade cheddar broccoli soup a try – it’s cheesy, creamy, and so comforting. Dare we say this is better than your favorite Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup? Plus, it has fresh broccoli so you can feel good about getting some veggies!
Why This Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe Works
- It’s made with fresh broccoli for the best flavor.
- You only need one pot – no complicated steps that require multiple pans!
- It’s rich and creamy, but you can adjust the richness by using a combo of half and half and milk, if you prefer.
- It doesn’t take forever to make. It’s an easy cheese soup that’s ready in 30 minutes!
I’m so excited to show you how to make the best broccoli cheese soup from scratch. Once you try it, you’ll make it on repeat all winter long.
Ingredients for Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Unsalted butter – You can use salted butter too, it’s just easier to control the level of sodium in the soup if you use unsalted.
- Onion – Grab a yellow onion and chop it finely or stock frozen chopped onions in your freezer and you can use that.
- All-purpose flour – Used to thicken the soup.
- Chicken or vegetable broth – Personally I prefer chicken broth and I use a low sodium version.
- Half and half – Will give you that rich, creamy soup you want.
- Broccoli – Grab a head of fresh broccoli and chop into small florets.
- Carrots – Wash, peel and grate using a box grater. You could also chop them small if you don’t have a grater.
- Seasonings – We used a mix of paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper to give this soup flavor.
- Cheddar Cheese – Grab the block and grate it yourself. This is important for this soup as it will give it the best meltability and create a smooth cheese base. For the most flavor use extra sharp or sharp cheddar cheese.
How To Make Broccoli And Cheese Soup
Sautee: In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook them for a couple of minutes or until they are soft.
Make the roux: Add the flour to the pan and whisk it with the butter to form a paste. Whisk it for one minute to cook off the raw flour flavor. Add half of the broth while whisking.
Season: Add the rest of the broth and all of the half and half while whisking. Cook the mixture for a few minutes, whisking continuously until there are no lumps. Add the paprika, garlic powder, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Simmer: Add the broccoli florets and carrots. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the soup has thickened.
Make it cheesy! Add the cheese a handful at a time and stir until it melts into the soup. It’s important to do this in small batches – it will keep the cheese from clumping up. Once you’ve added all the cheese, give the soup a taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Refrigerator: Let soup cool and then place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Once again, let soup cool, place in an airtight freezer safe container and store in the freezer for up to three months.
How to Reheat Soup
Microwave: Place soup in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, stir and then heat for 1-2 minutes again, or until hot depending on the amount of soup you are reheating and power level of your microwave.
Stove Top: Pour soup into a saucepan and heat on low heat, stirring occasionally. Do not bring to a rapid boil. Heat soup until warmed through.
Tips for lumps: When you make the roux and add the broth, it’s important to whisk out all of the lumps. If there are some stubborn ones, you can blend it in a food processor or blender to smooth it out. I’ve added this step to the recipe card, but it’s optional.
Seasoning: Depending on the brand of broth you use, you will want to adjust the salt. Some have higher sodium than others, so be sure to start with a small amount. You can always add more before you serve it.
Broccoli: I love to use fresh broccoli florets in this recipe because it tastes great. You can substitute frozen, but you will want to thaw and drain it first. Also, I would wait to add it until the last 10 minutes of the simmering time. Otherwise, it might end up mushy.
Lighten it up: You can substitute milk for part of the half and half for a lighter soup. It won’t be as rich, but it will still taste good!
Leftovers: Store them in an airtight container, and they will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. It will thicken as it cools, so when you warm it up, add a splash of milk or broth to loosen it up.
Side Dish Ideas!
You can serve it all on it’s own for a light dinner or lunch, but adding a side makes it a filling meal. Here are some ideas:
- Who loves soup and sandwiches? Serve this cheesy soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, hot ham and cheese sandwiches, or – if you’re really hungry – try it with a French Dip!
- Dunk my homemade breadsticks in it or add some dinner rolls!
- I love it with just a simple tossed salad on the side, too. Grab your favorite lettuce, veggies, and dressing and toss them together!
If you want a thicker soup you can add a few extra tablespoons of flour when you make the roux. If the soup is done and you want it thicker, combine a few teaspoons of cornstarch with water and stir it into the soup. Simmer if for a few minutes and it will thicken.
The most likely reason is that it was too hot when you added the cheese. You shouldn’t boil the soup when you cook it. Just maintain a simmer and then wait until the end to add the cheese.
If you’ve already added the cheese and it clumps up, whisk it really well. That can help it blend into the soup so it’s creamy. You can also add a little bit of flour and whisk it – the flour can help the cheese blend into the soup. To avoid clumping, don’t forget to add the cheese slowly. Only add one handful at a time and stir until it has melted into the soup before adding another handful.
Yes, fresh cauliflower florets will work well in this soup! Prep the same as the broccoli and cook them until they are tender.
You want to use a block of high-quality cheddar cheese that you grate yourself. Don’t grab the cheapest kind because it won’t have as much flavor. Depending on your preference you can use extra sharp, sharp or cheddar cheese. Pre-grated will not integrate well into the soup because it is resistant to melting.
I wouldn’t recommend using frozen because it will tend to be mushy. If you don’t use a frozen broccoli add it right at the end so it only warms up and doesn’t cook.
This creamy, cheesy broccoli soup recipe will warm you up when it’s cold! It’s the perfect recipe when you’re craving something cozy and comforting. Be sure to check out all of my other soup recipes if you’re looking for more ideas!
More Comfort Food Recipes
It gets cold here in Minnesota so there’s no shortage of cozy dinners at my house! Here are few others you might like to try, too!
- My Easy Chili is a hearty dinner that your family will love. You don’t have to wait all day for it to cook – it’s ready in 30 minutes.
- Use your slow cooker to make the best Mississippi Pot Roast. It’s perfect with some Homemade Mashed Potatoes!
- For a filling soup, try my Instant Pot Lentil Soup. It’s a healthy and delicious way to warm up on a cold night.
- Spaghetti Pie is one of our family’s favorite dinners. It’s hearty, filling, and always a hit!
- Delicious, homemade version of your favorite New England Clam Chowder!
- Cheesy Chowder – Incredibly Easy Cheesy Chowder Loaded with Carrots, Potatoes, Celery and Ham!
- These soup recipes are easy, delicious and hearty. You’ll find over 40 easy soup recipes that the entire family will love.
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cups half and half
- 4 cups broccoli florets small or chopped broccoli
- 2 cups carrots grated
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a dutch oven melt butter over medium-high heat.
- Add in onions to dutch oven and saute until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in flour while whisking to form a roux, cook for about 1 minute whisking often. Continue to whisk and pour in about half of the broth.
- Add in remaining broth, as well as the half and half, slowly whisking as you pour the broth and half and half into dutch oven.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes, whisking often to get out all the lumps, add in paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a blender or food processor, this is optional, blend until smooth.
- Return the soup base to the dutch oven and add in broccoli florets and diced carrots.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soup has thickened and the vegetables are fork tender, stir occasionally through cooking time.
- Add shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time, stirring to incorporate after each handful.
- Season with extra salt and pepper as need and serve immediately.