How to Make Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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There is a lot to love about this soup. First, if you've ever had the Panera bread version, you already know you love it. Second, it takes just 15 minutes to make. And third (this might even be my favorite part) it freezes well. So, just make yourself a double (or triple) batch and you'll have enough to stock your freezer full of soup for those days when even 15 minutes seems like to long to wait to eat.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Things You'll Need

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped white onions 
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder    
  • ½ lb fresh broccoli (about 1 cup), chopped 
  • 1 large carrot, grated with a cheese grater
  • 1 bread bowl for serving (optional) 
(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 1: Melt the Butter

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 2: Brown the Onions

Add the onions, cooking over medium high heat until the onions start to brown.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 3: Sprinkle with Flour

Sprinkle the flour over the onions, stirring until the flour is well combined with the butter.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 4: Stir in the Broth and Half and Half

Add the broth and half and half, stirring until well combined.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 5: Slowly Add the Cheese

A handful at a time, sprinkle the cheese over the pot, stir until well combined before adding more.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 6: Add the Spices

Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and garlic powder, stir to combine.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 7: Add the Broccoli and Carrots

Add the broccoli and the grated carrots, stir to combine. Simmer until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 8: Blend

Using an immersion blender, blend until mostly smooth but some smaller chucks of vegetables still remain.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 9: Serve

Top with additional cheese, if desired.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

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