During the cold winter months, everyone should have at least one great soup recipe that’s not only warming and filling, but that can also be made quickly on any given weeknight.
This simple Broccoli Cheddar Soup checks all the boxes—plus, it’s easy to make in one pot. Bonus!
Making Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Broccoli Cheddar Soup is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a soup of pureed broccoli and broth with cheese. Although it’s pureed, it does still have some texture in it from small bits of broccoli, which is very welcome.
There are a few keys to making this soup really special:
- Blanch the broccoli: I like to blanch the broccoli before adding it to the soup. It’s an extra step, but it means you can better control its texture in the finished soup.
- Save a few broccoli florets for garnish: I also reserve some of the blanched florets to stir in just before serving. They add a crunchy and colorful contrast to the bowl of pureed soup.
- Make it extra thick! To help thicken the soup and make it extra creamy, I add some all-purpose flour to the base.
Swap the Cheese!
While I prefer to use a cheddar cheese for this soup, you can substitute almost any mild cheese, such as Colby Jack.
Just be sure to grate the cheese yourself. Pre-grated cheese usually has a non-sticking agent on it that prevents it from melting as smoothly.
Make it Gluten-Free!
If you need to make this recipe gluten-free or low-carb, just skip the flour! You can also substitute some cornstarch (try one tablespoon and add more as needed).
What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Want for something to serve alongside your bowl of creamy, piping hot soup? Crusty bread is a classic choice, of course. If you’re stuck inside and want to make your own bread, try making Potato Dinner Rolls, Garlic Knots, or Rye Bread.
How to Store and Freeze Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Leftovers of this soup will last in the fridge for about five days and reheat well in the microwave or over low heat on the stovetop.
You can also freeze this soup for up to three months! Let it cool completely, then transfer it to freezer containers or bags and freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or reheat directly from the freezer over low heat on the stovetop.
Other Creamy Soups to Try!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- 1 large head or two small heads broccoli (a little more than 1 pound), chopped into florets and stems
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 2 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- Bread, for serving
1 Blanch the broccoli: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a few big pinches of salt. Add broccoli stalks and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes until they are bright green and fork tender, but still slightly crispy.
Drain broccoli. Scoop out and set aside about 1 cup of the florets for the topping.
2 Cook the onions and carrots: Wipe out the pot, place over medium heat, and melt the butter. Once melted, add the onions and carrots, and cook until veggies soften, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
3 Cook the soup: Stir in the all-purpose flour. The flour will form a paste with the veggies. Cook for a minute or two to coat the vegetables, and then start to slowly pour in vegetable stock. Stir constantly as you pour in the stock to avoid lumps.
Once all the stock is added, bring soup up to a low simmer. Add milk and the blanched broccoli (except what you're saving for the topping). Simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat.
4 Puree the soup: Blend with an immersion blender, or let the soup cool until no longer steaming and blend in batches in a blender. (If using a blender, be careful to let the soup cool a bit and do not overfill the blender to avoid splattered hot soup!)
5 Season to taste and serve: Add the grated cheese, salt, and pepper to the pureed soup and stir over low heat until the cheese has melted. Taste soup and season with additional salt and pepper to your liking.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with some reserved broccoli and extra cheese on top. Serve with bread.
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