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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (recipe from Panera Bread)

I discovered Panera Bread when we lived in the Midwest.  My favorite menu item to order was always their Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  In fact broccoli cheddar is one of my favorite soups period so I'm always trying it out at different restaurants.

When I saw this recipe from top secret recipes I couldn't resist giving it a try.  I found it to be easy and pretty good tasting, very much like the restaurant version.  I made a couple changes, here's what I did.

3 cups broccoli florets (I put a 16oz and a 12oz package of florets in, which was about 3 1/2 cups)
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
5.3 oz shredded cheddar cheese (or 8 Kraft cheese slices)
1/2 cup fine shredded carrots
1/3 cup diced white onions
Pinch of ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste (I added quite a bit to mine)

Steam broccoli on a steamer basket in a covered saucepan over boiling water for 6 minutes.  Remove broccoli to a chopping board until cool, then use a large knife to dice broccoli into small pieces (about the size of peas).

Pour chicken broth into a large saucepan with the milk (or you can use 4 cups chicken broth and 1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2).  Whisk in flour and then add remaining ingredients, including broccoli.  Turn heat to medium, stirring often until mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and soup is thick.

I served the soup with crusty french bread (bought in the freezer section of Costco).  The four year old loved it and asked for it again tonight.  However, the husband wouldn't touch it.  Perhaps it had a bit too much broccoli for him to want it.  I still think it's a perfect soup for a cold winter day.  Too bad it was sunny and 74 here in Phoenix.  Ha!

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