This easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup is rich, creamy, and deliciously cheesy! It’s a one-pot soup made in just 30 minutes on the stove top using tender broccoli florets, and sharp cheddar, in a cream-based broth! It’s perfect for busy weeknights or cozy weekends.
Table of contents
The Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup
The fresh ingredients in this broccoli cheese soup make it healthy and simple. It’s velvety smooth with tender bits of fresh broccoli flecked throughout, which makes this soup the kind of comfort food that everyone loves during soup season.
It’s thick but not too heavy and made with real melty cheddar cheese that always pairs well with broccoli, heavy cream, aromatics, and chicken broth. Most of this you’ve probably already got! It rivals the classic favorite at Panera Bread for sure!
You can make broccoli cheese soup completely vegetarian, or lighter using light cream, and either way, this soup loaded with broccoli and cheese is one even the whole family will devour…even kids. Serve it with your favorite crusty bread.
Talk about an easy way to get everyone to eat more veggies!
- Olive oil: A neutral-tasting oil that we’ll use to first saute the aromatics which is the first layer of flavor in the broccoli cheese soup base. Or use canola oil, vegetable oil, butter, or coconut oil instead.
- Onion & garlic: Cooking until tender, these delicious flavors give the soup so much flavor.
- Butter & flour: Together, melted butter and all purpose flour are used to make a roux, which will thicken the soup. Use gluten-free flour if desired.
- Chicken broth: I love using chicken stock just for that extra flavor, either homemade or store-bought, but you can certainly use vegetable broth instead.
- Broccoli florets: You can chop a head of broccoli or buy a package of pre-cut florets. Some even like to add chopped broccoli stems.
- Shredded carrots: Use the coarse side of a boxed grater or a food processor to freshly grate your carrots or buy them already grated at the store. You can also dice them a bit larger and cook them with the onions.
- Heavy cream: Adds a rich creamy consistency to the broccoli cheddar soup.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Freshly grating your own cheese from a block, please! It melts much better than pre-shredded cheese and tastes better too.
1. Use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
2. Swap the cream for whole milk, ow-fat milk or any non dairy milk for a lighter version. You can also use half and half. Just remember, the rich consistency comes from using heavy whipping cream.
3. Use mild cheddar cheese, Colby Jack, or a blend of your favorites. You could even add a few tablespoons of cream cheese for extra creaminess.
4. Add a teaspoon of dry mustard powder for added flavor. You can also use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic too.
Add in potatoes for a hearty soup. Dice up a Yukon gold or russet potato.
How to Make this Creamy Broccoli Soup
This broccoli cheese soup will come together in just 4 steps. Watch how quickly you’ll have everyone running the table!
Step 1: In a Dutch oven or large pot, cook the chopped onion over medium-high heat until tender. Then add the minced garlic and butter. Once the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour on top, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
Step 2: Slowly pour the broth into the pot, over the roux, whisking constantly. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure all of the roux is blended and no lumps of flour are left behind.
Step 3: Add the broccoli and carrots and bring everything to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 15 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
Step 4: Now, you’ll add the heavy cream and shredded cheddar cheese. Salt and pepper to taste and stir until the cheese is melted and blended thoroughly.
Serve broccoli cheese soup garnished with extra cheese and crunchy croutons if desired!
Can You Make Broccoli Soup in a Slow Cooker
Yes, you sure can! Simply add the garlic, onions, broccoli and carrots and butter to the slow cooker. Mix the chicken broth and flour together in a bowl or large measuring cup and pour it over the vegetables. Cook on low for hours or until the broccoli is tender. Then add in the shredded cheese and heavy cream and cook for 30 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- For an extra fun presentation, serve it in a bread bowl! Use the inner bread to make homemade croutons.
- Use frozen broccoli if that’s what you have on hand. It will be mushier, so if that’s not something you love, use fresh instead.
- The amount of broccoli you use is flexible. If you like a stronger broccoli flavor with bigger chunks in every bite, you can use bigger or more florets.
- Reduce waste by using the entire broccoli stem! Chop it up and throw it in there to become nice and tender.
- Even if you don’t use the stalks for this soup, save them for another recipe!
You can! If prefer less texture and a smoother soup, puree the entire soup once it’s done cooking. Use an immersion blender if you have one. A regular blender will work too, you might have to do it in batches.
If you have any left (doubtful!) you can store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. It’s best enjoyed those first few days and I don’t recommend freezing it.
Heat it in a pot on the stovetop or use the microwave for a single bowl.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- In a dutch oven or large pot, add the olive oil and onions and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions gets tender.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 small onion
- Then add the minced garlic and butter. Once butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over top and stir constantly for one minute until blended in to create a roux.2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Slowly pour in the chicken broth, stirring while adding it in. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan to blend in all of the roux.4 cups chicken broth
- Add the broccoli and carrots in and bring to a slow boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.2 cups small broccoli florets, 1 cup shredded carrots
- Finally add the heavy cream and freshly shredded cheese. Add salt and pepper to your liking.1 cup heavy cream, 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- Stir until the cheese is melted and blended in completely.
- Garnish with extra cheese and croutons if desired.