Panera (Seriously Awesome) Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I love Panera Bread. Love love love. Like every time I’m home, I force my family and friends to go at least once type of love. So when I stumbled on a recipe for copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup…I almost fainted (no joke).

It all started on a Friday night when I was starting to feel a cold coming on. I was craving nothing but hot, smooth, deliciously cheesy broccoli soup. So I did what any normal human would do–I creeped through Pinterest until I found a recipe and headed to the grocery store.

*This is a recipe I adapted from Creme de la Crumb. And it’s amazingggg!

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Here’s What You Need:

  • 1 big stalk of broccoli (I opted for fresh over frozen which added more crisp–yum!)
  • 1 onion (chopped small)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tbsp beef bullion
  • 5 tbsp butter (1 tbsp for initial cooking, the rest for later)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 fat free half & half (use fat free to make this a little healthier!)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 large skillet, 1 small pan, 1 small pot

Here’s How You Do It:

  1. Start with the onions in a small pan. Chop and cook them with 1 tbsp butter until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In small pot, boil 3 cups water, add beef bullion and stir until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet melt butter (medium heat) then slowly add flour until it gets soupy/doughy. Slowly add water/beef bullion mix and stir. Slowly add half & half and stir until all lumps are removed.
  4. Chop broccoli and add along with onions. Boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes (or until broccoli is at the tenderness level you prefer…I like mine still a little ‘crispy’ rather than mushy so I cooked my raw broccoli for 15 min.)
  6. Stir in salt, pepper, and cheese until blended. Serve hot!
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