Broccoli Cheese Soup

This Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is easy to make in less than 30 minutes and lightened up a bit with no heavy cream, yet still tastes just as cozy and comforting and delicious as ever.

Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Soup season has officially returned.  And I, for one, am here for it.

I already have a list a mile long on my phone of new soup recipes that I’m hoping to share on the blog this winter.  (Stay tuned!)  But for our very first soup recipe of the season today, I thought we could return to a cozy classic that I’ve been craving for months — classic broccoli cheese soup.

Oh my goodness, I absolutely adore a good bowl of broccoli cheddar soup.  It always feels so cozy and comforting during the wintertime, especially served up in a bread bowl or with a nice crusty baguette.  And I have to say that I’m especially partial to this particular broccoli cheese soup recipe, because when I’m the one cooking it from scratch, I get to control the ingredients.

For example, by contrast to most restaurant broccoli cheddar soups, this recipe is lightened-up with milk instead of lots of heavy cream.  I also love making it with a good, aged, sharp white cheddar cheese, in order to add a big kick of flavor (and avoid those unnecessary orange food colorings).  This recipe also allows you to control the tenderness of the broccoli, either keeping it more on the crisp side or simmering it until it’s super-soft (or pureeing the soup until it’s completely creamy).  Most of all, though, I just love this recipe because it tastes super fresh and flavorful, and is made with so much broccoli.

And it’s easy to make in just 30 minutes!  Soup time!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredients:

To make this easy broccoli cheddar soup recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Butter or olive oil: We will use these to sauté the veggies and form part of our roux.
  • Broccoli: 1 large head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets.
  • Veggies: Onions and carrots, nice and diced.
  • Seasonings: Garlic, a touch of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
  • Flour: To make a roux and thicken the soup.  (Feel free to use gluten-free flour if preferred.)
  • Veggie stock: Or chicken stock would also work.
  • Milk: I typically make this soup with 2% milk, but feel free to sub in your preferred kind of cow’s milk or a plain non-dairy milk.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: The type of cheese you use will really make a difference in this soup, so I recommend springing for a good one!  I’m partial to aged sharp white cheddar myself.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

How To Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup:

To make this broccoli cheese soup recipe, simply…

  1. Sauté the veggies. Cook the onion, carrots and garlic in butter (or oil) until softened.
  2. Make the roux.  Stir in the flour and give it a minute or so to cook.  Then stir in the chicken stock, milk and mustard until combined.
  3. Simmer.  Let the soup continue to cook until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce the heat to maintain the simmer.
  4. Add remaining ingredients.  Stir in the broccoli and cheddar until combined, then continue to cook the soup until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness.  (I like mine to stay fairly crisp, so I don’t cook mine very long.)
  5. Serve warm.  Garnished with extra cheese if you’d like!

Any leftover broccoli and cheese soup can be stored in sealed containers (affiliate link) for up to 3 days.  Unfortunately, this soup does not freeze well, so I don’t recommend it.

Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Possible Recipe Variations:

Want some more options for how to customize your own broccoli soup recipe?  Feel free to:

  • Purée the soup: If you would like to make more of a cream of broccoli soup, just use an immersion blender to puree half or all of the soup until smooth.  Or you can puree cheesy broccoli soup in a traditional blender — just be sure, as always when blending hot liquids, to blend the soup in small batches so that the hot soup doesn’t expand and explode out of the top of your blender.  (I always tent the cap on my blender lid open a bit, too, and cover it with a towel to let any extra hot air escape.)
  • Add cauliflower: To make broccoli cauliflower soup, feel free to use half broccoli and half cauliflower.
  • Add extra veggies: Feel free to toss any other soup-friendly diced veggies into this soup as well.  You will just either need to sauté them along with the onions, or simmer the broth a bit longer (before adding the broccoli and cheddar) to be sure that they have time to fully cook.
  • Make it gluten-free: To make gluten-free broccoli cheese soup, just be sure to use a certified GF flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour.
  • Make it vegan: Use olive oil or vegan butter (in place of the butter), plain dairy-free milk (such as almond or oat milk), and either vegan cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (in place of the cheese).
  • Use a different kind of cheese: If cheddar isn’t your thing, this soup would also taste delicious with smoked gouda, Pepperjack, gruyere or even mozzarella cheese.
  • Make Panera-style broccoli cheddar soup: The famous Panera broccoli cheddar soup recipe is a bit more indulgent, made with a mixture of heavy cream and milk.  Panera also uses shredded carrots (instead of diced) and adds a pinch of white pepper to the soup, which I highly recommend if you have some on hand.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

More Creamy Soup Recipes:

If you’re looking for more creamy, cozy, comforting soup recipes, here are a few of my faves!

Print
5 from 19 reviews

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x

Description

This Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is quick and easy to make in less than 30 minutes, lightened up a bit, yet it still just as cozy and comforting and flavorful as ever.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) freshly-grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 large head of broccoli)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat butter (or oil) in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted.  Add onion and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.  Stir in the garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.  Stir in the flour and sauté for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the chicken stock until it is evenly combined.  Stir in the milk and mustard until combined.  Continue cooking until the soup, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add in the broccoli and cheddar, and stir until combined.  Continue cooking for 2-4 more minutes, or until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with extra shredded cheese if desired.

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Broccoli Cheese Soup

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201 comments on “Broccoli Cheese Soup”

  1. 5 stars
    Taste really good. Was a little reserved at first but after tasting it, I’m pleased. My son is gobbling it up right now!

  2. 5 stars
    This is a very good Broccoli Cheddar soup! Better than I have ever had in a restaurant. Really no need to grate your own sharp cheddar cheese, I used the bagged shredded and it melted just fine. Try it you will like it!!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe was SO GOOD! I followed the exact recipe and it was really easy to make and the flavour was phenomenal. Move aside, Panera Bread!

  4. 5 stars
    This is super good! I was wondering if you think it would turn out the same with almond milk? I want to make it again but all I have is almond milk right now and I’m lazy lol

  5. 5 stars
    I had 1/2 bag of broccoli flowerettes, from Sam’s, and saw your recipe on Pinterest. I also had all the other ingredients, so I made it. It is amazing! And so easy! My husband loved it! I will definitely be making it again, and again! I used my immersion blender to mix it all up. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I love the milk instead of whipping cream or half and half like most recipes use. I forgot the mustard but used a little cayenne instead to add a little spice and it was amazing! Thanks for the recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    Loved it!

  8. 5 stars
    Threw in a potato chopped and then puréed it some once cooked. Hubs doesn’t care for broccoli chunks and loved it! Top with bacon for nice little crunch too.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this soup tonight on this crazy cold December night and… wow! This was amazing from the first bite! Oh my gosh so good!! I am tempted to get another bowl. I added chicken to fill me up a little more and it came out great.

  10. 5 stars
    So good and healthier and easier than a lot of broccoli cheese soup recipes!

  11. 5 stars
    Yummy eeeee came out very good light and yet creamy. Used the 2% milk as suggested and reduced fat chedder cheese. Extra cheese for serving and two twists of fresh ground pepper. Very good.

  12. Hi!! Love your recipes, so much so that you’re my “go to” index😊. I have one question—can I use lactose free milk in this recipe??? Thx!

  13. Garden is bursting with Broccoli , now I either freeze the Broccoli or make something and freeze that, Saw your recipe and thought perfect, even though its July and 80 some degrees out. I can always freeze soup, well that is If there will be any left after supper tonight. So very good almost not enough to freeze. Cheese and Broccoli just seem to go together. Good to have a soup without meat for a change.

  14. 5 stars
    My family LOVES this soup! I like it too and I don’t even like broccoli!
    Sometimes I add a couple of chopped potatoes and add them with the carrots or I add a couple cups of ham or cooked chicken or even turkey kielbasa to make it more of a meal. :)

  15. 5 stars
    This soup is delicious. Once again, another successful recipe from you. I have prepared several of your recipes, they never disappoint. Followed recipe pretty closely, will make again.

  16. 5 stars
    Delightful and light, but hearty . . . a quandry in that way, but delicious completely! Thank you!

  17. Great flavor! My frustration is when I use shredded cheese. I used Colby jack, as I did not have anything else. It clumped (as always). I did not use preshredded cheese. I ended up pureeing the soup and still yummy! Could you address the whole thing with cheese and not melting way? Totally want to stay away from the processed fake cheese! Thanks!

  18. 5 stars
    This was amazing.

  19. 5 stars
    Tried this soup and everyone loved it. I did it without cheese and tasted great.