Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

"A very good broccoli cheese soup. Served with crusty bread."
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by Bev I Am photo by Bev I Am
photo by Rachel Huneybadger photo by Rachel Huneybadger
photo by Wala I. photo by Wala I.
photo by Rachel Huneybadger photo by Rachel Huneybadger
Ready In:
1hr 10mins




  • Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.
  • Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until you see a noticeable golden brown color in your pan.
  • Slowly add in the chicken stock and whisk again to combine. Simmer contents covered (stirring occasionally) for 20 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the broccoli, carrots and the sauteed onions, into the pot. Stir, add the milk and half & half. Cook covered over low heat 20-25 minutes but do not bring to a boil. This may cause the milk to curdle.
  • Add salt, pepper & nutmeg. Note: you can purée half of your soup in a blender or with a handheld immersion blender if you choose however it isn't a requirement. Continue to cook the soup on low heat and slowly add the grated cheese a handful at a time and stir to avoid clumps. Once all the cheese has been added is melted, remove from heat, and serve immediately. Suggestion: serve with crusty bread or in a breadbowl.
  • Refrigerate leftovers after they have cooled and store in a airtight container up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Questions & Replies

  1. Can you add shredded chicken to this recipe?
  2. where in the direction do you show "milk" no where is it found. The directions states: add the milk and half & half. what joke
  3. I would like to make this dish for 20-25 people, what should I x's it by? Also since I will be making a lot I prefer to have it mostly made an hour or two before company so I have plenty to time to clean up before they arrive. Any suggestions on how to do this? I'm thinking complete the entire recipe except the cheese then heat the soup up and add the cheese just before company arrives?
  4. can frozen broccoli and carrots be used?
  5. Can the soup be frozen?


  1. I just read about a hundred of these reviews...I think its funny how people say "this doesn't taste at all like Panera" and then go on about how they changed this and that part of the recipe when they tried it:-) I have not yet made this, but when I do I'll be using vegetable broth (not sure if I should use that or chicken-style vegetarian broth). Even so, a suggestion that might be helpful. The people that say it was guess is if you use a high quality sharp cheddar like Cabot instead of Kraft it will make it much more flavorful. And then it seems like most of the people that really disliked this recipe said it was much too thick. The recipe didn't specify whether or not to cover while simmering, but that can impact how thick the soup is as can the size/shape of the pot and what your definition of a "simmer" and "low heat" are, among other things. Its easy enough to replace water that has evaporated or add more broth (depending on how the too thick soup tastes)...silly to grudgingly eat it or throw it out because its too thick!
  2. This soup is delicious! I did add some garlic to the onions, and sauteed the carrots (which I grated) with the onions and garlic. Just a note about curdling....the lower the fat content in the milk product (half & half, milk, cream, etc) you use, the higher your risk of curdling. The higher fat content protects it from curdling as easily. That being said, you can still use low or no-fat products, but you have to take great care not to let them boil. My suggestion would be to make the soup all the way through, and add the milk products and cheese at the very end and heat gently, and slowly.
  3. This was an awesome soup. And whether this tastes exactly like Panera who cares, it is fantastic. I think you would have to have a side by side taste test to even compare, and lets face it , if you don't use the exact brand names of what Panera uses it won't taste the exact same anyways. Reading all the previous reviewers about the nutmeg was getting me nervous but I wanted to try the receipe as written and I did and I was worrying for nothing. The flavors were outstanding. The only thing I changed was I grated the carrot instead of julienned and I used my immersion blender in it for just a few seconds at the end. Everything turned out fantastic. I loved it and it is such a filling soup too. This is a soup I will be making again. Thanks so much for sharing chefnini.
  4. This is the best recipe for broccoli soup I have came across!! I do not understand why people search for recipes just to change everything about it and then complain and rate low because it wasn't as good as they had hoped. First off why not try the recipe first and then make changes the second time if any are needed. The flour in this recipe is very very important. The first time I made the soup it was so creamy and delicious, I raved about it and my boyfriend begged me to make it again a week later so I did but this time the creaminess was this weird texture and I thought I had everything in the pot so I though maybe the cheese was no good or something since it had completely separated from the soup base. I gave it another try last week and the same thing, the cheese separated from the soup base. Came back to this recipe sine it worked so well the first time and realized I forgot the flour. Please learn from my repeated mistake and don't forget the flour. I have tried the Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar, the Tillamook Extra Sharp and the smoked sharped and liked the Tillamook extra sharp the best. :) Yummmmmmmy this soup is amazing!! Thank you for being so selfless and not keeping it to yourself.
  5. Wow! I am freaking out right now because I just made Panera's Broc/Cheddar soup in my own kitchen! It tastes exactly like their recipe. I just wish I had made bread bowls to go with it! I would give it 500 stars! It thickened up great and tasted amazing! This is a true 5 Star winner!


  1. In order to keep the half and half and milk from overheating and curdling cook the vegetables in the broth to the desired doneness and then put the milk and half and half in at the end. Heat on low until soup is just hot and do not let it boil.
  2. Add the nutmeg before the vegetables, otherwise the nutmeg powder gets stuck inside the broccoli and leaves a sour taste
  3. Don’t add the two cups of whole milk. That was my mistake. Will try to edit recipe
  4. I used Almond flour instead for a more thigh friendly version, still made a nice rue. I added my dry ingredients right after the stock, so the flavors blend well. You'll want only a small pinch of nutmeg. For a little protein, I added bacon crumbles to top it off. Still a very hearty great soup!
  5. I used a can of evaporated milk instead of heavy cream, as I always try to keep it in my pantry.



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