Monday, December 19, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Soup - Panera Style

Living so far away from the conveniences of America, we sometimes have to come up with substitutes for the things we like and miss.  For instance, this year’s live Christmas tree was replaced by a fake one.  We tried the real ones that were sold last year, but when we brought it home it was dead.  Sagging branches.  Brown needles.  Major fire hazard. Dead.  So when the store had a 90% off sale the week after Christmas, we jumped on the fake tree wagon and went FULL TILT ARTIFICIAL with this bad dog…..
Geez.  I hope I don't scare people away from my blog by posting that!  I can't get a good picture of it no matter how hard I try. I promise it looks much much better in real life.
Another thing I miss about America is the food.  Although I don’t need it, I dream of things like Olive Garden and Chik-fil-A.  Back in the states I would be a mad-woman shopping right now.  We would go to Panera Bread I’m sure, because it is right across the street from Target. (Oh Target I miss you too!)   I would get the Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a sour dough bread bowl and I would be happy.  I deserve to be happy right?
So I caved, and I made Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  I resist the copy-cat recipes because really????  Is that copy-cat Iced Lemon Pound cake really as good as a cup of coffee with your BFF and the REAL Starbucks pound cake?  I think not.  But recipe was good.  Very very good. 
Now if only I knew how to make sourdough bread bowls.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Panera Style
Recipe adapted from

  • 2 T. Butter, melted
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 4 c. half and half
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli
  • 2 cups, julienned carrots
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Whisk butter and flour over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add half and half. Add chicken stock, still whisking.
Simmer 20 minutes.  Do not cover! (Only say this because I might have covered it, tried to start some laundry…..until I heard frying sounds and saw smoke coming from the kitchen!)
Add broccoli, carrots and onion. Cook over low heat until veggies are tender – about 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup will have thickened by now.
Carefully transfer soup mixture to blender and puree. Return soup to pot (or crockpot) over low heat. Add cheese. Stir until well blended. Add nutmeg right before serving.
Makes 8-10 servings.

Home Stories A2Z


  1. I always get this soup at Panera! Thanks for sharing the recipe, time to make it at home!!