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Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Cheesy Sourdough Toast

Broccoli cheddar soup should burst with broccoli flavor and soothe your soul with plenty of rich cheesy goodness. Get the steps for this comforting soup you can enjoy year round. 

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a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with cheesy toast on top

There’s nothing I love more than a big bowl of boring, bland, flavor muddled soup. I especially love the recipes where you take a bite and can’t even tell what you’re eating. 

There are tons of versions of broccoli cheddar soup on the internet and I scoured them all–found a few flaws here and there–and then broke them down into a version that is so creamy, and bursting with broccoli flavor.

You will never have to question what’s in your bowl ever again. 

As with most of my recipes, this is one where you simply don’t want to skimp on shortcut ingredients. Especially the base–a great quality chicken stock is really really important here. Your soup will only ever be as good as the ingredients you use. 

How can I make this broccoli cheddar soup healthy?

Fat doesn’t have to mean unhealthy if you are using high quality sources like grass fed butter and raw dairy (or at least low heat pasteurized if you can’t get raw). I would also recommend:

  • Use a really good quality chicken stock you could even use a bone broth here if you choose to.
  • You can lighten up the cream and the cheese by using milk instead of half and half.
  • Avoid low fat cheese because the fat is often replaced with other additives. Just use less of the real thing.

Tips for the best broccoli cheddar soup.

  • Feel free to use either fresh or frozen broccoli florets. I prefer frozen because they’ve already been blanched and are slightly soft. If you use fresh broccoli florets you will have to wait a little bit longer for those to soften before you can puree your soup.
  • I used an immersion blender to get a really nice, even consistency. But if you don’t want to blend yours that’s okay. Remember that blending hot soups is kind of dangerous so if you’re doing it in an actual blender, only fill the blender 1/3 of the way and cover the lid with a towel in case there are any splatters.
  • I tested this recipe with a very sharp, Vermont cheddar cheese. The sharper the cheese, the more flavor you’re going to get from it. If you use something very mild, you’re likely not going to feel like you’ve gotten that burst of flavor.

A note on salt and seasoning this soup:

You’ll certainly want to make sure you season this soup properly. That’s a very hard thing for some people. I recommend that you check your chicken sock for saltiness first and always taste your soup as you go along.

If you aren’t sure if the soup needs salt, add a bit of soup to a bowl and sprinkle some salt in. Stir and taste. Is the flavor better? If so, add salt to the main pot.

If you’re using a very salty chicken stock or if for some reason you have chosen to use bouillon cubes or powder, the sodium in those can absolutely ruin a recipe. Remember that the cheese will also be salty so add a little bit of salt as you go and then hold the rest back until you have finished and you can add an additional half teaspoon or so at the end if it’s needed.

YOU HAVE GOT TO TASTE AS YOU GO SO YOU GET THE SALT RIGHT. *There is zero reason for you to write to me and tell me this soup is bland.*

Making broccoli cheddar soup step by step

Step 1: Add carrots, celery and onion to melted butter and cook until softening. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

Step 2: Add flour (I tested with gluten free flour and it works great) and stir to coat. Cook 1 minute to cook out any raw flour.

Step 3: Add stock and simmer, adding broccoli near the end of the simmering time.

Step 4: When all vegetables are soft, blend with an immersion blender or food processor until mostly smooth.

a step by step photo of sautéing vegetables, tossing with flour, simmering until tender and blending until smooth.

Step 5: Add half and half or milk and grated cheese. Never use bagged cheese. It can make your soup gluey. Keep on low heat stirring often just until the cheese melts and the soup is hot. Don’t boil the soup once the milk is added or it may curdle.

How to make cheesy sourdough toasts

a close up of the cheesy bread

The soup goes really nicely with a little bit of crispy toasty bread on top.

In this case I used some thick sourdough that I made myself and added some butter and cheese on top and put that under the broiler just to get the edges nice and crispy.

You can leave the toast on the side or put it right in the soup–it’s just a little extra richness and great for dipping.

Ready for more soups?

Try:

a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with cheesy toast on top

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Cheesy Toast

Broccoli cheddar soup is bursting with broccoli flavor and is so rich and creamy!
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Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 340kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
  • 3/4 cup carrots
  • 3/4 cup celery sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup flour gluten free works
  • 2 cups chicken stock homemade is best
  • 2 cups half and half or 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups broccoli florets I tested with frozen
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt divided in half
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg optional, fresh grated is best
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese don't use pre shredded

For sourdough croutons

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1" thick slices sourdough bread
  • 3 tablespoons white cheddar cheese per slice

Instructions

  • In a four quart stock pot melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add the celery carrots and onions.
  • Saute 5 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add the garlic and saute one minute more until fragrant. 
  • Add the flour starting to coat all the vegetables. Cook over medium heat one minute to dissolve the raw flour flavor.
  • Add the warm chicken stock and half cup water and bring to a simmer over medium low heat stirring often. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, then add the broccoli florets.
  • Continue to simmer on low until the vegetables are completely tender about another 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt (taste yours first)and a pinch of nutmeg if using. 
  • Add the half and half and cheese and stir until melted.
  • Taste, and add another ½ teaspoon salt if needed. Serve warm with sourdough cheese croutons.  

Make the croutons

  • Spread butter on one side of bread.
  • Top with cheese and broil until melted and golden brown.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 706mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2984IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 333mg | Iron: 1mg

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