Chunky Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This Broccoli Cheddar soup is easy to make and delicious to eat. It also freezes really well for up to three months, making it a perfect dinner-in-a-minute solution on busy nights.

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Looking down at one bowl of chunky broccoli Cheddar soup on yellow and green napkins and a small bowl of grated Cheddar cheese.

Soup Good for Year Round

There are some soups I can’t imagine eating any other time than in the middle of winter – like a Beef and Barley Soup or a French Onion Soup. but Broccoli Cheddar soup is not like that. Although broccoli is really in season in the winter (from October to April), most of us enjoy broccoli all year round and can find it in stores easily. This delicious, creamy and cheesy broccoli soup is decadent, but I’m not restricting it to winter. I wouldn’t choose it for the summer months, but when fall starts to arrive, a bowl of this soup fits the bill.

Hands cutting broccoli on a cutting board with a bowl of broccoli florets, a bowl of grated Cheddar, a bowl of diced onion and a yellow and white striped towel.

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

When you’re making broccoli Cheddar soup, you start by sautéing onion with the broccoli stems, diced into small pieces. You then make the thickened base of the soup with flour, stock and half-and-half. It’s like making a cheese sauce, but not adding the cheese just yet. Add and simmer the broccoli florets in the soup base until tender. The cheese only gets added to the soup at the very end, allowing it to melt into the soup smoothly without seizing or becoming gluey. 

Looking down into a stockpot with a cream sauce and a wooden spoon, next to a bowl of broccoli florets and a yellow and white striped kitchen towel.

How to Thicken Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This broccoli Cheddar soup is primarily thickened with flour. Cooking the flour with the sautéing onions and broccoli stems makes a roux, which then thickens the stock once it has been added. Bringing the liquid to a simmer is a critical step here, because the starch in the flour will only do its job of thickening at a temperature just below the boiling point. Adding half-and-half to the soup base also helps to thicken the soup with a creamy component. You could add whole milk if you prefer, but I’d recommend just adding less half-and-half instead if you’re trying to add less fat.

Looking down into a stockpot with broccoli florets and a white sauce and wooden spoon, next to a white and yellow kitchen towel.

Florets and Stems

I love that this recipe uses both broccoli florets and the stems. The stems have so much flavor and it’s a crying shame to ever discard them (Hazel and Loulou whole-heartedly agree!). Dicing the stems into small pieces and sautéing them with the onions at the beginning gives your soup a nice broccoli-flavor head start. Adding the florets to the soup base and letting them cook in the soup base adds more broccoli flavor as well as gives the soup texture and visual appeal.

Looking down at a chopper with a green broccoli soup purée, a bowl of Cheddar cheese and a stockpot with cooked broccoli soup inside.

Puréeing Broccoli Soup

Puréeing a portion of the soup is another way to thicken this broccoli Cheddar soup. It also is a nice way to increase the green color of the soup overall, rather than having a cream colored soup with green florets in it. It takes just a moment, but does make a difference. 

A hand adding Cheddar cheese to a stockpot of broccoli soup with a yellow and white striped kitchen towel and pot lid in the background.

Cheese for Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Cheese has a tendency to seize when it gets too hot – it gets gluey and stringy. So, make sure you add the soup at the very end of cooking, once the pot has been removed from the heat. I like to use a sharp Cheddar for this recipe, so I get more bang for my buck in the flavor department. Plus, I just like sharp Cheddar cheese! If you’re not a fan of strong Cheddar flavor, you can use a medium or mild Cheddar if you prefer (but I do wonder why you’re making this soup if you don’t like Cheddar).

A close up of a ladle of chunky broccoli Cheddar soup being transfered from pot to a bowl and a second bowl of broccoli Cheddar soup in the background.

How to Serve Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ladle the broccoli Cheddar soup into bowls and serve with a nice crusty baguette to sop up any leftovers or with little croutons on top if you like. If you’re an over-achiever, why not serve it with some roasted cherry tomato focaccia on the side for a complete, delicious and beautiful meal. (Wow. I’m already impressed that you’re thinking about it!)

Two blue-rimmed white bowls of chunky broccoli Cheddar soup with yellow and green napkins, a small bowl of grated Cheddar cheese and a hammered stainless steel stockpot in the background.

Storing and Freezing Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Should you have leftover soup, it freezes well and can last in your freezer for 3 months. Ladle it into containers with as little surface area and air as possible and freeze. Re-heat the soup gently on the stovetop when you’re ready to eat. What a treat to have a bowl of this ready to go any time. 

 

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Chunky Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 25 m
  • Total Time: 45 m
  • Servings:
    6

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ onion diced
  • pounds broccoli about 4 individual heads, florets removed (about 6 cups) and stems peeled and diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 cups half and half
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese grated

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a 5-qt stock pot. Add the onions and diced broccoli stems and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ground mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté until the onion and broccoli stems start to soften – 4 more minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and half and half and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring as it thickens. Lower the heat, add a pinch of nutmeg and the broccoli florets, and continue to simmer with the lid askew for 15 minutes until the broccoli has softened.

  2. Transfer 2 cups of the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Return the purée to the pot. Stir in the Cheddar cheese (reserving a little for garnishing) until melted and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Serve hot and garnish with extra grated cheese if desired.
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Comments (8)Post a Reply

  1. What can I use besides flour as the thicking agent could I use coconut flour or almond flour or xathan gum? I am on a low carb diet everything in the recipe is exceptable but the flour

    1. You could use almond flour or a small amount of xanthan gum. You could also use a little cream cheese or heavy cream to thicken the soup.

  2. Thank you so much for these wonderful soup recipes. Of course, your chicken noodle soup recipe is my favorite. Here’s hoping you feel better soon. I know your side kicks want you up and around too. God Bless!

  3. 4 stars
    forgot to ask on my first post…..I prefer the look of yellow cheddar but only had white on hand, so that is what I used. Is there any taste difference between yellow and white?

    1. Hi Linda,
      Different Cheddars do have different flavors, but it’s not the color that affects the flavor. The flavor will differ between brands and how long the Cheddar is aged.

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious! I never realized how easy this soup is to make. I shred my own cheese so it is a little more time consuming to make but well worth the effort. I will for certain make this again. Thank you so much for this recipe.

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