I love Panera's broccoli cheddar soup but it was hard for me to want to visit my local restaurant during this pandemic so I came up with my own. There are tons of variations and options to make this soup your own. You can add extra veggies, different cheeses, garlic to your onions, a little nutmeg to the finished soup, green onions, sour cream, etc.
The list goes on and on. Make it your own! Serve topped with cheese!
1 tablespoon butter
½ onion, chopped
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Step 1- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion in hot butter until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Step 2- Whisk 1/4 cup melted butter and flour together in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue to whisk and cook , adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk if necessary to keep the flour from burning, 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 3- Gradually pour milk into flour mixture while whisking constantly. Stir chicken stock into milk mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook until mixture is thickened, about 20 minutes. Add broccoli, carrots, sauteed onion, and celery; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Step 4- Stir Cheddar cheese into vegetable mixture until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.