Monday, December 09, 2013

Thirty-Minute Cheesy Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup

I stumbled upon a recipe on Yammie's Noshery for a copycat version of Panera Bread's cheesy broccoli soup.  Their soup has always been my favorite there, so I was overly thrilled to try an at-home version.  However, I wanted to incorporate some cauliflower into the soup, so I thought what the heck ... let's do this!  I replaced half of the broccoli called for in the recipe with cauliflower - simple as that.  Go ahead and use all broccoli here, friends, if you'd like.  After all, it is your soup!

The recipe did call for half-and-half, but since I didn't have any, I used whole milk.  It worked perfectly and saved me a few calories.  (Who am I kidding?  This soup has butter, whole milk and lots of cheese ... I wasn't really thinking about calories!)

I had my littlest one, Ayvah, home sick from school today.  She was so sad to be missing first grade gym class today, but her poor little tummy had been yucky for a couple of days.  She and I spent the morning curled up watching Christmas cartoons.  When she was up and feeling a little better this afternoon, she wanted to get out her coloring books.  So, I got busy in the kitchen whipping up a batch of this soup and getting some bread rising for bread bowls.  Since dinner was still a couple of hours away, I transferred the prepared soup to my slow cooker and kept it on the warm setting.  I was so proud of myself - it was only three o'clock and I had dinner done, blog photos of the soup taken and everything cleaned up!  Score one for mom.

What I love most about this soup is that it, literally, takes all of thirty minutes from start-to-finish to make.  I was blown away at how easy and quick this recipe is ... and, yes, it did not disappoint.  Sometimes something that claims to be a copycat recipe really doesn't turn out to taste much like the dish it's supposed to be copying.  This one tasted just like Panera Bread's broccoli soup (just with a little cauliflower thrown in).  The only thing I will do differently next time (and there WILL be a next time) is make a double batch!

P.S.  This is gluten-free, so share the recipe with your friends who cannot have gluten!

Yields 4 servings.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 small onion, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 cups whole milk (or half and half)
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
2 bay leaves
4 cups fresh broccoli florets (I used 2 cups broccoli and 2 cups cauliflower)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste


Melt butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat.  Cook onion, garlic and carrot until slightly softened.  Add in the milk and chicken stock.  Mix together the corn starch with a little water in order to form a pourable paste.  Whisk into the soup.  Add in the nutmeg and bay leaves.  Increase heat to medium.  Allow soup to simmer and thicken a bit.

Add in the broccoli and cauliflower.  Cook until they are just tender.  Remove bay leaves.  Mash about half of the soup with a potato masher - leaving some of the broccoli and cauliflower in larger pieces.

Add in the cheese - a handful at a time - stirring until melted.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with a little more shredded cheese on top if desired.  Perfect served in homemade bread bowls.

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  1. I have a Panera within walking distance of my office. I love all their soups and will add this to my lasted list of "souper bowls" to try. I have a good bit of frozen home made stock as well...Thank you! Nancy

    1. Hi, Nancy! You are so lucky. My closest Panera is about 20 - 25 minute away from my house, so I only get to go there when I travel that way for shopping in the area.

      I hope you enjoy the recipe. I'm already looking forward to the leftovers of it tomorrow for lunch! :)


  2. Hey Angela, One of my fav recipes.. The link to Yammie's Noshery says Malware infected site though. You may want to remove/get in touch with that site owner. :)

    1. Thank you, Tara. I will look into that issue today.

  3. can you use velveeta cheese (in the block) instead of shredded? was just thinking it would melt faster?

    1. I, personally, would stick with the shredded cheddar ... I think the Velveeta would greatly alter the flavor and possibly the texture of the soup. But, that's what cooking is all about - experimenting and doing things according to preference (or what we have on hand sometimes). This is already a pretty quick recipe to make ... the melting of the cheddar doesn't take long at all. But, try the Velveeta if you'd like and we'd love to know how it turns out for you! :) Thanks for the question!

  4. Hi Angela, just found your blog today. :) I personally love Broccoli Cheese soup and adding cauliflower sounds so yummy! :) However, as a vegetarian I can't use chicken stock. Do you think it would taste as good with vegetable stock?

    1. Hi, Lysa. And, welcome! I personally haven't tried using vegetable stock for this particular recipe, but I think it would be worth a shot of trying it that way. Our now-adult daughter has been a vegetarian since she was in middle school and we've substituted veg stock for many soups throughout the years when she still lived at home. Some worked better than others obviously ... sometimes we'd stand at the stove after we added everything called for in a recipe and adjust different seasoning to attempt to get to where we liked it. :) And, I've also found throughout the years that different veg stocks work better than others ... some just don't bring much flavor. So, if you've got a good stock, I think you'll be okay. I would love to know if you try it with veg stock and how it turns out. :) Thanks for the question!

    2. My favorite that I use when I have Ramen (we have a very tight budget) is the Knorr Vegetable stock (it's in a little tub). We used to use the bouillon but the stock tastes better and doesn't have a weird film to it. My husband is the chef in the house so I'll ask him to give this a shot. :) We're also planning on trying your Ultimate Potato Salad. :) I just saw on the side, "Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls". I'm in love... I love Cream Cheese and Cinnamon Rolls. We've got to try this one too. lol

      Thanks for replying to my question. :)