Have you been to Panera Bread? It's a chain, and even though I'm not a fan of chain restaurants, I love a sandwich and soup from Panera. Maybe it's because we don't have Panera in Utah? You always want what you can't have.
I'm not a fan of super thick and cheesy soup. That's why I like Panera's Cheddar Broccoli. It's filling, but not the gloppy-overly-salty-processed-cheese type of soup you find in so many restaurants. Doesn't that sound so appetizing? I looked at several recipes online that claim to duplicate Panera's recipe. Many of those recipes left out (little, but significant) ingredients, like a bit of mustard, hot pepper sauce, or paprika, which are all listed as ingredients in Panera's soup. So, I made my own version- a one pot, less than 30 minute recipe.
Just like Panera in your own kitchen.
It's always better home made.
Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup
A Bountiful Kitchen
1/2 cup butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots ( I used baby carrots)
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
few drops of hot pepper sauce
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cream or half and half
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 cup cornstarch, whisked into 1/2 cup cold water or cold broth
2 cups (about 8 oz) grated sharp cheddar cheese
Melt butter in large stockpot. Add onions and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add carrots and broccoli cook for additional 3-4 minutes, season with salt, pepper, paprika and hot pepper sauce. Pour chicken broth and cream into vegetable mixture. Add one teaspoon mustard, whisk until smooth.
Simmer over medium-low heat.
In a small bowl or cup, whisk the cold water or broth together with the cornstarch until smooth. Pour into the stockpot with the vegetable mixture. Whisk until smooth. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Add cheese and cook just until cheese is melted. Reduce heat until ready to serve.
Serves 4 as a main course
-Sharp or extra sharp cheese is best for this recipe.
-If you want to make a heartier soup, cook a couple of chicken breast halves and shred or chop before adding to the finished soup.