Broccoli cheddar soup is a rich and creamy soup that's made with fresh broccoli that's simmered with onions and carrots in a divine mixture of chicken stock, heavy cream and sharp cheddar cheese. Topped with burnt broccoli, this is the soup you'll crave over and over again!
We've likely all had broccoli cheddar soup at some point in our lives, whether it be from a can or a chain restaurant.
But there's something different and special about broccoli cheddar soup that's made at home.
Our recipe includes the wonderful addition of burnt broccoli as a topping, which by itself is pretty fantastic.
We love to serve broccoli cheddar soup in bread bowls when we can find them, or like most of our soups and stews, with garlic bread.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Preheat your oven to 425f and set the rack to the second lowest level of the oven. Roughly chop approximately 7 cups of broccoli dividing between 2 ½ cups for the burnt broccoli, and 4 ½ cups for the soup. Dice 1 medium onion, and 2 medium carrots. Mince 3 cloves of garlic and grate 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese. Note: Broccoli florets work really well for this recipe. If using whole broccoli heads, you will need 2 of them to get at least 7 cups of broccoli.
- Toss the 2 ½ cups of broccoli with a ¼ cup of olive and salt and pepper to taste and spread it on a baking sheet to roast for 20 minutes or until browned. Turn the broccoli over halfway to ensure even cooking. Once well browned, remove from the oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat and saute the onions and carrots in 4 tablespoons of butter for about 5-7 minutes, or until soft.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add a ½ cup of dry white wine and bring to a boil for 1 minute then reduce the heat to medium.
- Add a ¼ cup of flour and stir for about 1 minute or until all of the white flour has turned golden.
- Add 3 ½ cups of low sodium chicken stock and the 4 ½ cups of broccoli and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the broccoli is very soft (about 20-25 minutes).
- Once the broccoli is tender, use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can add ⅓ of the soup to a regular blender and puree, then add it back to the soup.
- Add 1 ¼ cups of heavy cream, the grated cheddar cheese, and a ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Simmer and stir until well incorporated (about 3 minutes). Taste test the soup and adjust salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, add water or chicken stock and thin to your liking. Serve in bowls, or bread bowls, and top with the burnt broccoli. Enjoy!
Top tips for perfect broccoli cheddar soup
- Broccoli. This recipe uses about 7 cups of broccoli between the burnt broccoli for the topping, and the broccoli for the soup. This is roughly 1 ½-2 heads of broccoli. If you're using a whole head instead of the crowns, you can include part of the stem in the soup. Simply trim the lower 1-2 inches of the stem off. The remaining portion of the stem can be shaved with a peeler to remove the fibrous exterior, chopped, and cooked in the soup. Alternatively, you can buy the bags of prechopped broccoli crowns from Costo, or other grocery stores and this will make the process a little easier.
- The cheese. We love sharp cheddar cheese and that's what we've used here but if you prefer milder cheddar or white cheddar, you can do either of those.
- Wine. We added dry white wine to the soup as the flavor pairs really well with the cream and broccoli. This is entirely optional though and if you'd prefer to omit it, you can do so.
- Thickness. This soup is meant to be pretty thick, but if you prefer it to be a little thinner, you can definitely add water or a bit of chicken stock to thin it out.
More comforting soup recipes
Here are a few of our favorite soup recipes. We hope you enjoy!
- Split pea soup - with garlic croutons and ham.
- Chicken orzo soup - with lemon and chicken thighs.
- Baked potato soup - creamy blend of potatoes, sour cream, and cheddar topped with crumbled bacon and chives.
- Lentil soup - with spinach, tomato, oregano, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
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For the burnt broccoli topping (optional)
- 2 ½ cups broccoli rough chopped - see notes below
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the broccoli cheddar soup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup dry white wine optional
- 3 ½ cups low sodium chicken stock
- 4 ½ cups broccoli rough chopped - see notes below
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
For the burnt broccoli
- Preheat oven to 425f and set the rack to the second lowest level of the oven.
- Toss the chopped broccoli with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread out the broccoli on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until well browned. Turn the broccoli over at the halfway point to achieve even cooking.
For the broccoli cheddar soup
- Heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat and saute the onions and carrots in butter until soft (about 5-7 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add the wine and bring to a boil for 1 minute while scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any brown bits. Then reduce the heat and add the flour. Cook the flour for about 1 minute until it turns golden.
- Next, add the low-sodium chicken stock and the broccoli and again bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the broccoli is very soft (about 20-25 minutes).
- Once the broccoli is tender and soft, use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup or add ⅓ of the soup to a regular blender.
- Next, add the cream, cheddar cheese, and nutmeg. Stir and simmer until well incorporated (about 3 minutes). Taste test the soup and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of water or chicken stock.
- Serve the soup in bread bowls or regular bowls with a topping of burnt broccoli. Enjoy!
- Makes 4-5 large bowls or about 8 cups.
- You can use broccoli florets or crowns. You will need a total of 7 cups of broccoli for both the burnt broccoli topping and the soup. This translates into about 1 ½ heads. If using the whole head, discard the lower 1-2 inches of the stem which tends to be very hard. The remaining part of the stem can be shaved and then chopped to use in the soup.
- If the soup is too thick just add water or low-sodium chicken stock to thin in out.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Love ❤️ your videos, can
you make one for this soup.
Hi Lori, thank you! Yes, the video for the broccoli cheddar soup will be out on YouTube this Thursday at 10:30 am EST.
Can this soup be frozen?
Hi there, I haven't tested this with freezing but it should be ok. It might break when you thaw and reheat but if that happens add a little more cream.
We made this for lunch today, served in Panera sourdough bread bowls, and it was a major success! Happy faces all the way around the table.
Thank you so much James for this and all of the fantastic recipes you share with us! You (and your family) are the best 🙂
Hi Andrea, thanks for the comment and so happy you all enjoyed the soup!
Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing. This was easy to make and delicious.
Hi Shelly, so happy you liked the soup! Thanks for the comment!
Can I use frozen broccoli?
Hi Coraline, you can use frozen broccoli, just make sure it's completely thawed.
Thanks, Jim. Happy holidays!
I added a handful of grated parmesan and a Tbsp of Better Than Boullion chicken base. Soup was delicious and perfect consistency! Thanks for a great recipe, it's a keeper! Going to try your baked butternut squash pasta next. I really enjoy your videos 😋
Hi Chris, I'm so happy you enjoyed the soup and hope the butternut pasta is also enjoyed! Thanks for watching the videos!
I’m a vegetarian - Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?
Hi Liane, yes, you can use vegetable broth. Hope you enjoy!