Broccoli was ridiculously cheap at the grocery store last week so I picked up several heads of it with this soup in mind. I went through a major broccoli cheddar soup phase at Panera Bread Company for a long time. I've since broadened my horizons and will order other things, but I still hold a special spot in my heart for this soup! I've never made it at home before, but I definitely will be making this again and again....and next time I'll try to make the bread bowls to accompany it! I absolutely loved this soup. I kept mine semi-chunky and thought it was the perfect texture. Ryan liked it too, but it wasn't cheesy enough for him, so he stirred more into his bowl before eating. Yum, typing this up now and reminiscing makes me want to make it again!
I added way more (fresh, not frozen) broccoli than the original recipe called for, I'd say you can adjust to your tastes. Lisa also lightened her recipe up by using fat free evaporated milk and low fat cheese. I just used regular evaporated milk and regular cheddar and I think it goes without saying the full fat was not letdown! Regardless, I imagine it's a much healthier version than what you'll find at your nearest Panera.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
adapted from Jersey Girl Cooks
-2 tbsp butter
-3 tbsp flour
-3 cups chicken broth
-3 heads of broccoli, chopped
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 can evaporated milk
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-salt & pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, melt the butter on medium heat and add the flour. Stir until a paste is formed.
2. Add chicken broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and whisk until smooth.
3. Add broccoli, onion powder, and garlic powder. Puree with a hand mixer until desired texture is reached. (I pureed most, but not all of it and then added more chopped broccoli afterwards)
4. Add milk and cheese. Cook on low heat until simmering. Season with salt & pepper.