Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup in 15 Minutes

Quickest and easiest Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe. It’s as tasty as Panera’s but you don’t have to leave your house!

A new Panera restaurant has been built not far from my house. I sometimes go there to take advantage of the coffee and free wifi when I want to work without household distractions. I’m also there for the famous Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It’s so good that I’ve even heard broccoli-haters rave about its deliciousness.

I thought that an easy broccoli cheese soup recipe for home would be a great way to get extra broccoli into my kids. They don’t really hate broccoli; they’ll eat a few stalks if they’re promised fruit right afterwards. But they eat this soup, no bribes required.

Quick and Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup, Ready in 15 Minutes
I made sure to include carrots in this creamy broccoli soup, just like Panera does. I used carrot matchsticks because they’re sold already peeled and cut into small quick-cooking pieces. Another way that I saved time with this soup is to not make bread bowls. I figured that none of us has time to be carving bread. Instead, the recipe includes quick garlic croutons to sprinkle over top of the soup before serving.

Between the protein in the cheddar cheese and milk, the carbs in the croutons and the big veggie portion, a bowl of this soup is a full meal on its own. And it’s vegetarian so it’s perfect for Meatless Mondays, if you do those (we do it about half the time).

Easy Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
Like all the soups in my SOUPin15 series, the Broccoli Cheese Soup is ready in under 15 minutes. The Souper Tip that makes it so tasty so quickly is the use of frozen vegetables, specifically frozen broccoli. Frozen vegetables are flash frozen when fresh, which means that they have all the nutrients of fresh vegetables. But I find that the freezing process makes them softer than fresh veggies, resulting in a shorter cooking time. For this recipe, the frozen broccoli is popped into the microwave for a few minutes to defrost it and heat it up before adding it to the soup. At that point, it’s already soft enough to eat but a bit of a simmer with the rest of the ingredients lets the broccoli flavor spread out a bit while gaining some milky flavor of its own. Get more Souper Tips for making quick and easy soups here.

 

Quick and Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

If you’re craving more cheese in your soup, you’ll also want to check out my Mozzarella Fondue Soup recipe.

Mozzarella Fondue Soup

And now, here’s my quick and easy Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe. See you in 15!

Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Frozen broccoli is the ingredient that makes this soup so delicious so quickly. Frozen broccoli doesn't require as much cooking time as fresh does. The other time-saver in this soup is to buy carrots that are already cut into matchsticks, no peeling required. To make this soup in under 15 minutes, first read through the recipe so that you know what to expect. As you read, gather together all of the ingredients, pots, pans and other tools that you will need so that everything is at your fingertips. No prepping is required though - all chopping, etc. is part of the instructions and counted in the 15 minute time. Yield 7 and 1/2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups low or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • salt
  • 1 cup carrot matchsticks
  • 1 (14 oz.) bag frozen broccoli
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk or 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Put a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the chicken broth and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover. Roughly chop the carrot matchsticks and add them to the pot. Stir and cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, put the frozen broccoli in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave it on high until hot, 5-7 minutes. Add it to the simmering broth.
  3. While the broccoli is in the microwave, put a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Chop the bread into 1-inch squares. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the garlic powder. Push down on the bread a bit so that the seasoning stick on. Put the bread into the pan of butter and stir and toss. Increase heat to medium-high and cook stirring occasionally until toasted and crunchy. Turn to low and stir occasionally until soup is ready.
  4. While the croutons are toasting, the broccoli is heating and the broth is simmering, measure the flour into a large mason jar. Add the milk and put on the lid. Shake it around and tip it around until the flour is mixed well into the milk. Shred the cheese.
  5. After you've added the broccoli to the soup, remove it from the heat and add the flour mixture all at once. Stir. Return it to medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Remove it from the heat and stir in 2 and 1/2 cups of the cheese. Serve topped with the remaining shredded cheese and the garlic croutons.

10 Responses to “Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup in 15 Minutes”

  1. Clinton — February 10, 2015 @ 7:21 pm (#)

    I made thjs for a friend for his birthday (he was sick and said it sounded so good. ) He’s a vegetarian and we couldn’t find any soup that didnt come with chicken stock so I decided to use this recipe. I found it kind of hard to follow…was I not supposed to use the lid when bringing it to the last simmer before adding the cheese? Right now its about to simmer on medium and I will remove it to store in the cheese…Im very nervous that its going to come out too watery. Normally I follow recipes very well but with the broccoli being added and etc I did get a bit confused :( . We shall see if the cheese is the magic ingredient thats going to thicken this up even the slightest bit. I may be missing some of the cooking”common sense” that was required to get this recipe right, as it is my first soup though I make many many other things on a regular basis and like to think I know my way around the kitchen. I think I just got a little confused somewhere along the way and one day I’ll look back at this and think “THATS what j did wrong” haha. Thanks.

  2. CherylS — January 20, 2015 @ 10:20 am (#)

    My whole family loved this one! Thanks!!

    • Christine Pittman — January 20, 2015 @ 10:20 am (#)

      Cheryl, You’re welcome. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Carol at Wild Goose Tea — October 21, 2014 @ 2:35 pm (#)

    I like he 15 min part. BUT at the moment I have some fresh broccoli that I chided myself for not using. This was a perfect idea even if it takes a few more minutes because of the fresh broccoli. I love broccoli cheese soup.

  4. Aggie — October 20, 2014 @ 10:28 am (#)

    I really really love this Christine. I hardly ever make broccoli cheese soup, and this one comes together so quick and easy. I’m going to put this on the dinner menu!

    • Christine Pittman — October 21, 2014 @ 8:21 am (#)

      Thanks Aggie!

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