My mother makes a mean cheddar broccoli soup. It’s my favorite soup that she makes, always has been. When I was younger and my mother would make her cheddar broccoli soup, she’d always serve it in bread bowls. Have you tried soup in a bread bowl? Wait, you don’t know what a bread bowl is?? Unthinkable! A bread bowl is made from a round loaf of bread with a crispy outside and a soft and fluffy inside. You cut off the top, scoop out the fluffy inside (kind of like pumpkin carving) and fill the bread “bowl” with your favorite soup! It’s delicious. The bonus is dipping the fluffy bread from inside into my soup. How about a how-to on bread bowls? I think I’ll put that on my to blog list.
Unfortunately, I’m a grown gal and don’t live with my mother anymore so I can’t get her delicious cooking at any old time I desire to have it. Fortunately there is take-out from restaurants that have dishes to remind me of my mother’s cooking. Have you been to Panera Bread?? It’s amazing! One of those soup-salad-sandwich places that I completely adore. One of my absolute favorite items from their menu is their Cheddar Broccoli Soup. I’ve created a copycat version so I can make it whenever I want right at home! This recipe is easy peasy and deliiiiiiish. I ate this soup all week long last week and I’m wishing I had more. A second batch is happening very soon!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ medium onion diced
- 3 cups water
- 3 teaspoons beef bouillon (or 3 beef bouillon cubes) OR veggie broth for a vegetarian version
- ¼ cup butter (4 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1½ cups fat free half & half (or regular)
- 3 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste - I like it with about 1½ teaspoons)
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 cups mild cheddar cheese
- In a small pan sauté 1 tablespoon butter and onions over medium heat until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside. In a small sauce pan bring water to a boil, add beef bouillon and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and set aside. In a deep pan or soup pot melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat. Slowly whisk in flour until mixture clumps up or forms a "ball". Add beef bouillon/water mixture and stir to combine. Slowly whisk in half & half and continue to stir until smooth. (If large lumps remain, mash them out with a rubber spatula)
- Add broccoli florets and onions and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes or until broccoli is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Stir in salt, white pepper, and cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Serve hot and top with additional cheese if desired.