Perfect Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk (whole milk is traditional, but 2% or unsweetened plant-based milk works too)
  • 5 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 large head)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, for a subtle smoky flavor)
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded (about 3 cups)

Instructions

1. Prep the Veggies: Chop the onion, dice the carrots, mince the garlic, and cut the broccoli into small, bite-sized florets.

2. Melt and Sauté: Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.

3. Make the Roux: Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir constantly for 1 minute to cook out the raw flour taste.

4. Whisk in Liquids: Gradually whisk in the broth and milk until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.

5. Add Broccoli and Simmer: Add the broccoli, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and optional smoked paprika. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.

6. Shred and Melt the Cheese: While the soup simmers, shred the cheddar cheese. Stir most of the cheese into the soup, reserving a bit for garnish. Simmer for another minute or two until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy.

7. Adjust and Taste: If the soup is too thick, add a splash of broth or milk. Taste and adjust seasonings with more salt, pepper, or other spices to your liking.

8. Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining shredded cheese. Serve with crusty bread, croutons, or a side salad for a complete meal.

Tips

Fresh Broccoli: For the best flavor, use fresh broccoli. Frozen broccoli can be used, but adjust cooking time as needed to ensure tenderness.

Cheese Matters: A good quality sharp cheddar cheese brings the classic flavor. Experiment with other cheeses like Monterey Jack or Gruyere.

Customizable: Add other vegetables like celery or potatoes. For extra richness, stir in a dollop of sour cream or a splash of heavy cream at the end.

Blending Option: If you prefer a very smooth soup, use an immersion blender or transfer portions to a regular blender to puree until desired consistency.

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