Better Than Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The weather has been odd on in South Walton recently, with days that fall into 30’s, jump to the 70’s and drop back into the 40’s which has left many of my friends and family with the sniffles, colds and flu. I myself had quite the ugly bug over Christmas, an illness I hope to never revisit!

30A Weather Viridian

With all of the crazy temps and runny noses, nothing beats the warming comfort of a big bowl of soul-satisfying soup, and this wonderful homemade Broccoli Cheese Soup (a favorite of my UA daughter who adores Panera Bread) is always a hit, and easy to make!

You might have seen a few of my #SundaySupper posts inspiring folks to spend time “Around the Family Table“, which has been a huge success. Due to that, #WeekdaySupper was recently introduced so that families could spend more time cooking, eating and conversing together. A full month of fabulous easy recipes for every night of the week will be available from our talented #SundaySupper contributors.


I’m kicking off this week with Better Than Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup for your #WeekdaySupper and #Meatless Monday. The family opted out of hollowing out a boule creating a bread bowl and served it on the side instead.

 Broccoli Cheese Soup


  • 6 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese


Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you’ll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot.
Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water a little at a time if the soup is too thick.

Note: Garnish with grated cheese and broccoli floret. I also like fresh ground pepper.

If you would like more information or have suggestions for #SundaySupper or #WeekdaySupper, head on over to  Our Weekday Supper Recipes can also be found on our#WeekdaySupper Pinterest Board.

The #WeekdaySupper Round-up looks incredible! Check it out here.

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