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30 minutes + all REAL ingredients = this easy broccoli cheese soup which is a quick and easy dinner your family will love and you’ll feel good about feeding them!
Why you’re going to love this soup:
- It’s SO simple! This soup is so quick and easy it can be thrown together in a snap on a weeknight AND chances are good you’ll have most of the ingredients in your fridge already!
- There’s no Velveeta in this recipe! Just REAL ingredients – you know, real milk and cheese! I don’t about you but Velveeta scares me. Yes, it tastes delicious and yes I do still eat their shells and cheese once every 10 years or so. But have you looked at the ingredient list? Not something I’d put in my body on a regular basis!
- It’s filled with fresh broccoli but it’s disguised in this creamy, cheesy delicious soup! If you’re looking for a way to get your kids to eat more veggies, try this soup! If there’s no way your kids are eating bite size pieces of broccoli, give it a quick whiz in the blender so the broccoli is all minced up and barely recognizable!
How to make Broccoli Cheese Soup:
You’ll start with a classic soup base of onion and garlic sauteed in a heavy bottom pan; which is pretty much the best way to start any dish in my personal opinion! Melt the butter and add flour.
Stir the flour into the veggies and cook it for about 1 minute. Then add vegetable broth.
Next add milk and a few spices. Then stir in shredded cheese until it is all melted and creamy.
And last but not least of course, add the broccoli!
Simmer everything for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and dinner is done!
Tips for making the best broccoli soup:
- Always use unsalted butter for this broccoli cheese soup. Using unsalted butter allows you to better control the amount of salt and therefor the flavor of the soup. In fact, you should use unsalted butter in every recipe, unless otherwise noted.
- Buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated with cellulose to help the shreds not stick together. Which also means that it won’t melt as well. I’ve often found that buying cheese in blocks is cheaper than pre-shredded too!
- Be sure to stir the soup occasionally as it simmers so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Stirring every 5 minutes is perfect!
- When reheating this soup, make sure you add a bit more milk. As the soup cools it will thicken considerably. Adding milk will loosen it up and make it smooth and creamy again. Be sure to season taste with salt and pepper after reheating also!
Frequently asked questions:
- What makes this broccoli cheddar soup so thick and creamy?
- The combination of butter and flour in this recipe is what makes it so thick and creamy! Melted butter mixed with flour is called a roux. This is the base that is used to thicken numerous different kinds of soups and sauces in cooking.
- Some recipes require you to remove the veggies and then create the roux with melted butter and flour. But after testing this recipe both ways, I found that it made no difference if I made the roux with the veggies right in the pot or separately.
- And I’m all about short cuts, so save yourself some time and just melt the butter along with the onion and garlic and then stir in the flour!
- Can you make broccoli cheese soup ahead of time?
- Yes, just be aware that if you are going to make this soup ahead of time, you will likely need to add a couple splashes of milk when it comes time to re-heat!
- Because of the roux and the cheese, this soup thickens up considerably as it cools. If you’re planning to reheat it at a later date, just make sure you add a few splashes of milk before reheating and probably a few more as it heats up!
- Whenever I loosen up a soup with milk or another liquid, I always compensate for the dilution of flavor by adding a few big pinches of salt and a little more pepper.
- Along the same lines, whenever you’re reheating any leftovers, it’s a great idea to season to taste with salt and pepper as the flavors do change over time.
- Can you freeze broccoli cheese soup?
- Yes! This soup freezes fabulously! I like to thaw it in the fridge overnight the day before I plan to reheat it. Once the soup is thawed, it will be easier to re-heat evenly.
- As mentioned above, in regards to reheating you’ll definitely have to stir in some additional milk to loosen up the thickened soup if you’ll be enjoying it at a later date.
- And don’t forget to give it another quick taste before serving and season with more salt and pepper!
Other vegetarian soups for you to try:
- Vegan Wild Rice Soup
- Creamy Tuscan Tortellini Tomato Soup
- Moroccan Roasted Carrot & Squash Soup
- Vegan Curry Lentil & Potato Soup
- Vegan Tomato Soup
Your family will say it’s the best broccoli cheese soup they’ve ever had. And you’ll feel great serving it because you know exactly what’s in it!
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 14.5 oz. can vegetable broth
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese + more for garnish
- 4 oz. shredded Monterey jack cheese + more for garnish
- 6 cups roughly chopped (fresh, not frozen) broccoli florets
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- simple crostini, optional (directions below)
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion along with a large pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Turn heat to medium low and melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the pot with the onion and garlic.
- Add flour and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add veggie broth and milk.
- Then add ground mustard, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Next stir in both cheeses until they are completely melted.
- Add broccoli, cover pot and simmer over medium low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
- If the soup seems to be simmering too rapidly or almost boiling, turn the heat down a bit. You want a gentle simmer for 20 minutes.
- You’ll know the soup is done when the broccoli is tender.
- Serve with shredded cheese and a couple slices of crostini and enjoy!
- To make the crostini: Slice French bread into 1/2″ thick slices and lay on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and broil for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip bread over and broil the other side for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with soup and enjoy!
Always use unsalted butter for this broccoli cheese soup. Using unsalted butter allows you to better control the amount of salt and therefor the flavor of the soup. In fact, you should use unsalted butter in every recipe, unless otherwise noted.
Buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated with cellulose to help the shreds not stick together. Which also means that it won’t melt as well. I’ve often found that buying cheese in blocks is cheaper than pre-shredded too!
Be sure to stir the soup occasionally as it simmers so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Stirring every 5 minutes is perfect!
When reheating this soup, make sure you add a bit more milk. As the soup cools it will thicken considerably. Adding milk will loosen it up and make it smooth and creamy again. Be sure to season taste with salt and pepper after reheating also!
Keywords: broccoli cheddar soup, cream of broccoli soup, fresh broccoli cheese soup
This recipe was originally posted in September of 2017. It was updated in January of 2019 to include process shots and more tips and details on how to make this delicious family favorite soup.