I loathe and despise winter. Here in the Southern United States, I’m glad to say that we don’t experience blizzards and snow storms like some parts of the US. But it does still get very cold, very windy, and we occasionally see some snow…but mostly just sleet and ice. It’s during those stretches of frigid air and frozen ground that I’m terribly envious of places that never have to experience winter like this! Like the Caribbean or Australia…or really anywhere right along the equator :).
However, it appears that we will not be moving to a Caribbean island anytime soon. So in the meantime, I’ve just got to make do with comfort foods that warm me up from the inside out. One of those comfort foods is Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheese Soup. I always order that stuff! It’s so creamy and delicious! I was thrilled to find a copycat recipe that was easy and used pretty common ingredients. It came out great, and we loved it! It did in fact taste very similar to the soup at Panera, but I think this version is just slightly less CHEESY. So I would increase the amount of cheddar….maybe even double it. (I’m a seriously cheeseaholic)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half (or milk)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pound fresh broccoli florets
- 1 cup carrots, julienne (you can just buy a bag of pre-julienned carrots)
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese (I would recommend at least 12 ounces if you like it cheesy!)
- Melt butter in a large stockpot. Add flour and mix for 3 minutes.
- Slowly add half-and- half (or milk), mixing the entire time. Slowly add chicken stock, mixing the entire time.
- Let simmer on low for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, saute onions in oil in a small pan.
- Add broccoli, carrots; onions and cook on low for 25 minutes.
- Season with salt, pepper; nutmeg.
- Place soup in a blender or use an immersion blender and puree.
- Heat soup over low heat and add cheese and mix until melted.
Source: Budget Savvy Diva