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Better than Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup {Copycat}

Adapted from Averie Cooks

Better than Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #copycat #supercreamy #broccoli #cheddar #soup #recipe

I went to Panera the other day while my daughter was at an appointment. I really went there just to have a cup of coffee and hang out until she was done, but I found myself wanting some good soup. So I decided to try a cup of their broccoli cheese soup. From my previous visits, I’ve noted that Panera does a pretty decent job at soups, but nothing jaw-droppingly amazing or anything. (I’m such a soup snob!) This time, though, I was surprised at how much I totally enjoyed their Broccoli Cheese soup. Perhaps it’s just that I’d been eating too many salads which left me craving something cheesy and hot. Panera’s soup was super creamy and cheesy and hot, just what I wanted that day, although I was hard pressed to find any chunks of broccoli in the soup. I found bits of carrot, but only tiny miniscule particles of broccoli.

Once I’d finished my rather large cup of soup (that was more like a bowl than a cup to me), I was quite satisfied, but found myself wanting more of that creamy cheesy goodness a few hours later … long after I’d left Panera. I couldn’t help thinking I could SO make this soup at home and save myself the trip (and quite a bit of cash!), so I did. I looked over a couple internet recipes and decided on this one since it claimed to be better than Panera and I liked the little extra flavor enhancements she added. I ran to the store to get a few things, and once I started cooking, the soup came together quite quickly. I took a few shortcuts, incorporating the onions into the roux, reducing the amount of butter and cheese, shortening the cooking time after adding the broccoli (so as to not overcook the broccoli) … in the end, my soup took only about 30 (maybe 40) minutes to make. Less time than it takes to drive to Panera and stand in line!

This homemade broccoli cheese soup is like Panera in that it has the same oh-so-creamy-good texture and ooh-yes cheesy taste, but with more depth of flavor, a little smokiness, and some actually distinguishable chunks of broccoli. (Of course, if you prefer miniscule broccoli particles, you can always blend the soup.) Be sure to shred the cheese yourself (rather than using pre-shredded bags of cheese) to get the best meltiness.

Better than Panera (copycat) Broccoli Cheese Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: About 1 quart of soup

Better than Panera (copycat) Broccoli Cheese Soup


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small/medium sweet yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced finely
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour (to make it gluten free, try tapioca flour)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups fat-free half-and-half (or regular half-and-half)
  • 2 large carrots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced thin
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and chopped
  • 4 ounces grated high quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 oz. grated aged white cheddar cheese
  • 1 oz. grated smoked gouda cheese
  • Red Robin seasoning (or salt) & freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder (or cayenne), to taste
  • Extra grated cheddar, for the top


  1. In a medium saucepan or soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the onion and saute for several minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is very tender and starts to brown. Add the garlic and saute a little more. Stir in the olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to coat. While stirring, add the broth a bit at a time, then the half & half. Stir for a few minutes more to mix it all up well. Reduce heat to medium low, stir in the carrots, and cook for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the soup is reduced a bit and a little thicker.
  3. Stir in the broccoli and cook for a few minutes until the broccoli is hot, then stir in the cheese and add the seasonings. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve topped with a bit more shredded cheese.
  4. Store leftovers in an airtight jar in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.


RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

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Better than Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #copycat #supercreamy #broccoli #cheddar #soup #recipe

This recipe was shared at Thursday Favorite ThingsFreedom Fridays with All my Bloggy FriendsFoodie Friends FridayWhat to Do Weekends, Weekend Potluck, Munching Monday and Hearth & Soul Boghop.

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5 Responses

  1. Looks delicious and very nice creamy soup, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. pinning and tweeting .

    March 15, 2015 at 7:55 pm

  2. What a luscious dish! My hubby just enjoyed a bowlful of this yummy soup this afternoon and would LOVE for me to make it myself. ;-} Thanks so very much for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck. I love this so much I’ve chosen it as my personal favorite for this week’s WP party. Please do come back again soon.

    March 19, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    • Ann

      That makes me so happy! I will be back for the potluck … thank you for hosting!

      March 19, 2015 at 10:47 pm

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